From December 1996 to July 2006, Jim Balsillie, Dennis Kavelman (then CFO), Mike Lazaridis and certain other RIM officers and directors engaged in improper stock option granting practices, including backdating and repricing of executive, director and employee stock option awards. In the February 2009 settlement of the Ontario Securities Commission’s enforcement action, Balsillie, Lazaridis and Kavelman agreed that they engaged in option backdating and repricing and that the total “in-the-money” undisclosed benefit from the incorrect option dating practices was approximately million.
The UCI officially calls it ‘technological fraud’ and introduced regulations last January that could see a rider given a minimum suspension of six months and huge fines if riders and teams are caught using a hidden motor in their bikes to boost their performance.The Wall Street Journal (see discussion of article below) pointed out a CEO option grant dated October 1998.The number of shares subject to option was 250,000 and the exercise price was (the trough in the stock price graph below.) Given a year-end price of , the intrinsic value of the options at the end of the year was (-) x 250,000 = ,750,000.The Securities and Exchange Commission has levied fines against Research In Motion executives for their actions in a stock-option backdating scheme, two weeks after Canadian regulators took similar action.The fines imposed by the SEC on RIM co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazardis won't be quite as steep as the ones ordered by the Ontario Securities Commission.Balsille will have to pay the SEC a total of 4,250 in fines and penalties, while Lazardis will have to cough up 8,300.and RIM executives Dennis Kavelman and Angelo Loberto to pay million in penalties and fines in Canada, where RIM is headquartered.I still think Palm's going to fight that off, but as a thorough reading of this post would surely reveal, I am not a financial analyst. Posted by Richard Koman - March 5, 2007 Options scandal takes down RIM's Balsillie The option backdating scandal took down RIM's chairman, Jim Balsillie, this morning as the Black Berry maker admitted it needed to remove 0 million from past earnings, as a result of improper accounting for the options, AP reports.What does it mean for us WM folks - looks like "not much." And now here we are: a 0 million restatement, with Jim Balsillie relinquishing his role as chairman (he stays on as CEO) now that he's been directly implicated in personally choosing favorable dates for back-dated options.CFO Dennis Kavelman, also implicated, will be transferred out of that role and into his new position as Chief Operating Officer.The Waterloo, Ontario-based maker of the popular handheld Internet device said a special committee determined that all options granted prior to Feb. The company said Balsillie was directly involved in approving grants following the company's initial public offering in 1997, including grants that have been found to have been accounted for incorrectly.Balsillie's role in approving grants decreased over time as more responsibility for approving certain grants was given to Kavelman and other employees.The early kinds of motors were rudimentary and hidden in the seat tube but more sophisticated examples based on Formula 1 and Eastern Block military technology apparently involve hidden magnets in wheels which are much more difficult to detect.