The SEC has filed civil charges against four top Broadcom execs, alleging that the men backdated employee stock-option grants between 1998 and 2003, the Wall Street Journal reports. The suit seeks fines and also the return of their illegal gains. The chip-maker—one of the boom companies of the 1990s—settled charges with the government last month.
Backdating involves manipulating the date of options grants to yield greater profits in eventual stock sales. The company restated results last year that included $2 billion in new compensation because of stock options. The execs have taken leaves of absence from their positions; the SEC cautions that criminal probes are also under way.