namibiaA very long ten years ago – before the financial crisis, before the Euro crisis, before the Brexit vote — there was the options backdating scandal. The wave of litigation the scandal stirred up took its time to work its way through the system, but eventually the litigation was resolved and the scandal moved into the past. Even though the the scandal moved into the realm of history several years ago, there was one small but important unresolved item. The criminal case against Jacob “Kobi” Alexander, the former CEO of Comverse Technology, Inc., remained open, because shortly before he was about to be indicted, Alexander fled to Namibia. This strange but interesting chapter of the options backdating saga came closer to resolution last week when Alexander – back in the U.S. from his Namibian refuge — appeared in federal court in Brooklyn to enter a guilty plea to a single charge of securities fraud.
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The options backdating scandal may now be ancient history, but questions surrounding insurance coverage for the scandal’s consequences apparently continue to live on. In a September 9, 2011 opinion applying Maryland law, Southern District of New York Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald ruled in a coverage action brought by SafeNet’s excess D&O insurer that, among many

Although some noteworthy settlements from the subprime-related securities class action litigation wave have started to accumulate (refer for example here), there are still some impressive settlements coming in from the prior scandal.

In the third largest options backdating-related securities class action lawsuit settlement, Maxim Integrated Products has agreed to settle the claims against

On January 27, 2010, NERA Economic Consulting released its updated annual review of Canadian securities class litigation entitled "Trends in Canadian Securities Class Actions: 2009 Update" (here). The report presents an interesting study of the evolution of class action litigation in a jurisdiction outside the U.S.

According to the report, there were

Over the years, legislative reforms of the U.S. securities laws have cycled back and forth, between initiatives, on the one hand, to discourage abusive litigation and, on the other hand, to restrain corporate misconduct. In the current Wall Street bailout, post-Madoff environment, sentiment may be running high for legislative reforms that could expand liabilities under

Broadcom Corporation, which previously settled its options backdating related derivative suit for $118 million, announced on December 29, 2009 (here) that it had settled the separate options backdating related securities class action lawsuit pending against the company and certain of its directors and officers in exchange for its agreement to pay $160.5

In a December 28, 2009 press release (here), the plaintiffs’ lawyers announced the settlement of the Comverse Technology options backdating-related derivative lawsuit. This derivative lawsuit settlement is separate from, but related to, the previously announced $225 million settlement of the Comverse Technology options backdating-related securities class action lawsuit (about which refer here).The

According to a December 17, 2009 press release from the lead plaintiff’s attorneys, the parties to the Comverse Technology options backdating related securities lawsuit have agreed to settle the case for $225 million dollars. A particularly noteworthy feature is that the settlement amount includes a $60 million individual contribution from the company’s former CEO, Kobi

There has been widespread news coverage of the dramatic December 15, 2009 decision of Central District of California Judge Cormac Carney to throw out the options backdating related criminal charges against Broadcom co-founder Henry T. Nicholas III and CFO William Ruehle, based on prosecutorial misconduct.

But even though many of press accounts have reproduced some