Comverse’s CEO, Jacob “Kobi” Alexander, felt his chances were better as a fugitive and in 2006 he escaped to Namibia, where he resides today (he also ultimately settled civil charges with the SEC for million in 2011). Attorney Andrew Stolper of the Central District of California was barely eight years out of USC’s Gould School of Law and had already racked up an impressive résumé taking down small-time business bad guys (he participated tangentially in the Enron case). When Broadcom’s internal option grant investigation revealed errors, Stolper jumped on the case that he apparently thought would crown his budding legal career.
Ruehle engaged in a scheme to backdate stock options at the company from 1998 to 2003.
There was simply no telling which company would be sued or which individual would be prosecuted.
Of the over 200 companies and 1,000 individuals with options violation accusations, only 22 individuals have been charged criminally by the Department of Justice.” Ultimately, out of over a thousand cases, five executives received criminal sentences.
In 2010, Lie told New York Times’ Dealbook reporter Peter Lattman, “I never expected my study would lead to anything.
At the time we published the paper, it wasn’t clear that regulators would view the activity as illegal.” Backdating wasn’t limited to poorly governed start-ups.
During the years that were charged, 1998 to 2003, there were notions that these were principles subject to interpretation and discretion rather than hard and fast rules.” In his calm and self-effacing manner today, Ruehle isn’t looking for sympathy or even empathy for the ordeal of his three-year criminal trial, nor does he make himself out to be any kind of hero due to his vindication.