The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged the former chairman and CEO of Brooks Automation, Robert J. Therrien, with allegedly receiving over $10.4 million in undisclosed compensation by fraudulently backdating stock options.
According to the SEC, the backdating caused the Chelmsford, Massachusetts-based chip-manufacturing automation company to overstate its income and understate its employee compensation expenses by at least $54 million between 1999 and 2005. The United States Attorney's Office for the District of Massachusetts has also charged Therrien with tax evasion for his conduct in a November 1999 option transaction in which he allegedly backdated options to purchase 225,000 shares of Brooks stock.
The SEC has been cracking down on stock options backdating, filing fraud charges earlier this week against the former CEO of KLA-Tencor, Kenneth L. Schroeder, over another alleged backdating scheme at a chip technology company.
The Justice Department also has been taking action against options backdating. The DOJ filed a criminal indictment against Carole Argo, the former CFO of security software company SafeNet.
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