Summary: Juniper pays $169,000,000 to bury a backdating scandal
FRAUD is more commonplace than people may realise, even fraud that’s actually found and confirmed. When we wrote about Novell fraud [1, 2] and Microsoft fraud [1, 2] we also gave examples to show this. A couple of days ago we discovered the details of fraud at Juniper, which is run by former Microsoft executives [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. Juniper is now paying to settle:
Backdating is the practice of retroactively changing the date of when employee stock options are granted to a time when the purchase price was lower to boost the recipient’s profit. While backdating itself isn’t illegal, it is when a company fails to disclose the compensation costs to government regulators and shareholders.
The class-action lawsuit claims that from June 1999 through 2003, Juniper’s former general counsel Lisa Berry and other Juniper executives concealed a backdating scheme that resulted in the overstatement of income from 1999 to mid-2006, eventually requiring the company to pay $894.7m in pretax charges.
“I do hope that the suit can help demonstrate that Microsoft’s claims of succeeding through innovation are a complete fraud. Their only innovation has been in inventing predatory business practices. Other than that, they have been perhaps the greatest borrowers in the history of the software industry.”
–Sybase Chairman Mitchell Kertzman