Ex-Broadcom Boss Charged With Drugging Exec Drinks

Dozens of drug, fraud charges for billionaire
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 6, 2008 5:27 AM CDT
In this Nov. 9, 2004 file photo, Henry Nicholas, billionaire co-founder of chip maker Broadcom, gestures during an interview with the Associated Press.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
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(Newser) – Broadcom's co-founder has been indicted on an astounding spate of federal fraud and narcotics charges, the Wall Street Journal reports. Henry Nicholas III is accused of using and distributing drugs over a seven-year period while directing a criminal stock options-backdating conspiracy that cost the firm billions. Prosecutors claim he secretly spiked the drinks of technology executives and customers with Ecstacy.

The charges also describe a warehouse packed with drugs allegedly used by Nicholas for wild parties with customers of the California chip-maker. Marijuana smoke on board the former CEO's private jet was so thick during one trip that the pilot needed an oxygen mask, according to court documents. The drug charges carry a maximum 20-year sentence, while the fraud charges could rack up  340 years in prison for the billionaire.