Rim backdating stock options

A group of current and former directors and high-level officers of Waterloo-based Research in Motion Ltd., including the high-tech firm's founders, will pay million to settle allegations involving backdating stock options.The Ontario Securities Commission approved the settlement deal during a three-hour hearing this morning in Toronto.

According to the SEC’s complaint, the executives made false and misleading disclosures about how RIM priced and accounted for options.

From 1998 through 2006, the company and the four senior executives illegally granted options to RIM executives and employees by backdating about 1,400 stock option grants to coincide with low prices for RIM’s stock, the SEC’s complaint alleges.

The same three men must also pay about $30 million to cover RIM's investigation costs.

The settlement was approved following a closed-door hearing in Toronto.

Lazaridis will pay $1.5 million in penalties and $150,000 in costs. Also under the terms of the deal revealed yesterday:- Kavelman, now the chief operating officer, will pay penalties of $1.5 million and another $150,000 in investigation costs;- Angelo Loberto, RIM's vice-president of corporate operations will pay $50,000 in investigation costs;- directors Kendall Cork, Douglas Wright, and James Estill were reprimanded;- Douglas Fregin, also a co-founder of RIM and former director, must complete a course on the duties of directors and officers.

About 1,400 of 3,200 options granted during this time were made using incorrect dating practices, the commission said in its statement of allegations.In its statement of allegations, the OSC said approximately 1,400 of 3,200 option grants made by RIM during the 10-year period were made using incorrect dating practices.The regulator alleged that in many instances, the lowest share price in a period was chosen using hindsight in order to set the grant date and the exercise price for the option. 3, the OSC said the "in the money" benefit of the incorrect options dating practice totalled million.Following an internal investigation, in May 2007, RIM restated its historical financial statements with a cumulative, non-cash, stock-based compensation expense of U. They confirmed that they returned the improper financial benefits they received from the incorrectly priced options and undertook to contribute, in aggregate, .1 million to RIM and to pay administrative penalties and OSC costs totalling million.Research in Motion's co-chief executive officers were hit Thursday with big financial penalties in a settlement with the Ontario Securities Commission over backdated stock options.A review of RIM's policies and procedures is apparently one of the conditions in the settlement.

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