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From a consumer's perspective, customers rely on companies to provide goods and services.
When those firms have no ethical boundaries, their wares become suspect.
(See also: .) As a result, firms restated earnings, fines were paid and executives lost their jobs—and their credibility.
The SEC reported that investors suffered in excess of billion in losses due to share price declines and stolen compensation.
In the mid-2000s, an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission resulted in the resignations of more than 50 senior executives and CEOs at firms across the spectrum from restaurant chains and recruiters to home builders and health care.
The allegations of illicit sex, drugs, and rock and roll reminded me of the 60s ... Sure, Broadcom had to take a .2 billion charge to fix the accounting mess left by the company's former executives.
The process became so prevalent that some investigators believe 10% of the stock grants made nationwide were issued under these false pretenses.
A series of academic studies was responsible for bringing the backdating scandal to light.
The first was in 1995, when a professor at New York University reviewed option-grant data that the SEC forced companies to publish.
The study, published in 1997, identified a strange pattern of extremely profitable option grants, seemingly perfectly timed to coincide with dates on which the shares were trading at a low.Since at-the-money options require a firm's share price to appreciate in order for the executives to profit, they meet the criteria for performance based-compensation and therefore qualify as a tax deduction.