More CEOs at risk in options scandal

first_imgIn return, some companies with potential criminal liability could receive what are known as deferred prosecution deals, in which prosecutors agree not to seek a grand jury indictment of the company so long as it commits no further wrongdoing. In the post-Enron era, with the specter of the 2002 conviction of the once-venerable Arthur Andersen accounting firm hovering, the Justice Department has increasingly engaged in such deals in recent years. Or they may not be prosecuted at all. The SEC, for its part, expects to impose civil fines on some companies and make criminal referrals to Justice on others, paying particular attention to companies that make big corrections to past profits because of faulty calculations of options. At issue in many of the investigations is a practice known as backdating. Stock options are issued retroactively to coincide with low points in a company’s share price, potentially fattening profits for options recipients when they sell their shares at higher market prices. If they aren’t properly disclosed, backdated options can falsely inflate corporate profits and result in an underpayment of taxes. For executives and directors, “If there was knowing and willful participation by individuals, … there’s potential criminal liability for those individuals,” said Michael Himmel, also an ex-federal prosecutor now in private practice, at Lowenstein Sandler in New York. Falsifying documents related to options grants, concealing information from the board – those would be signs of potential criminal conduct by executives, experts say. Some company officers and directors may contend that lawyers and other advisers gave their blessing to the options dating arrangements. “It isn’t criminal to basically end up giving bad advice,” said Lawrence Barcella, a former Justice Department prosecutor who specializes in white-collar cases at Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker. It’s another matter, he said, if the attorneys or advisers “knowingly and willfully enabled” the company executives to carry out a deceptive options scheme. Directors – five of them have been forced out at companies with problems – appear to have played a pivotal role in the options drama. A study released Thursday suggested that the common link between companies that backdated options was a network of directors who sat on some of the same company boards. Of 120 companies involved in the scandal, more than 40 percent share directors with other implicated companies, The Corporate Library, a corporate governance research firm, said in its report. That proportion of interconnected boards is much higher than would be expected from a similar, randomly selected sample, the study found. To date in the scandal, at least 140 public companies have disclosed Justice Department, SEC or internal investigations of their option grants, according to an Associated Press review. Punishment can take a form other than firing, too. On Friday, Costco Wholesale Corp., the nation’s largest wholesale club operator, said that President and Chief Executive Jim Sinegal and Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti won’t get what would have been almost $300,000 in combined bonuses this year because they were responsible for irregular stock options awards. AP Investigative Researcher Randy Herschaft contributed to this report from New York.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WASHINGTON – Chief executives caught in the stock-options scandal may find it harder to keep their jobs now that a CEO as mighty as UnitedHealth’s William McGuire has fallen. The scandal rattling corporate America has claimed more than three dozen executives and board directors at 19 public companies so far. McGuire, whose retirement was announced Sunday, is arguably the most prominent. The move was quickly followed this week by news that the chairman and founder of computer chip supplier KLA-Tencor Corp. was retiring over options, the top two executives of encryption specialist SafeNet Inc. had resigned, and consulting firm Sapient Corp.’s co-founder had quit as chief executive and co-chairman in a broad management shake-up. Last week saw the abrupt departures of two well-known Silicon Valley CEOs: George Samenuk of McAfee Inc. and Shelby Bonnie of CNet Networks Inc. McAfee, a leading maker of computer antivirus software, also fired its president, Kevin Weiss. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’The spotlight in the scandal has turned from lesser known executives like Jacob “Kobi” Alexander – the fugitive former CEO of Comverse Technology Inc. now in Namibia awaiting extradition to face charges – to more mainstream, established corporate leaders at blue-chip companies. “Not only are the dominoes falling, but the dominoes are getting bigger,” said Anthony Sabino, a business law professor at St. John’s University in New York City. The fall of a big domino like McGuire – the man who engineered UnitedHealth’s rise from a regional health insurer into the nation’s second-largest – can spark the descent of others like him, Sabino maintained. “Everybody else who’s involved is at risk,” he said. A sort of guillotine for corporate executives has been set out in the public square. With more than 100 companies under options investigations by the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission, many likely are eager to show their cooperation with the authorities and willingness to take remedial action – like firing executives believed to be implicated or responsible and possibly recouping some of their options money. “The companies are doing their best to anticipate the concerns that the government will raise,” said Tim Coleman, a former federal prosecutor who is an attorney at Dewey Ballantine in Washington. Companies’ actions “are with a view to what’s going to happen on the day of reckoning,” he suggested. last_img read more

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Loss Prevention Jobs in Missouri

first_imgSpring MobileLoss Prevention Field ManagerMissouriCorporate/ExecutiveFull-time11/13/2018StaplesManager, Field Asset ProtectionKansas City , MIDistrict/RegionalFull-time11/13/2018JCPenneyAsset Protection AssociateSt Peters, MIStore LevelFull-time11/13/2018To find more loss prevention jobs in the Missouri area and around the country, search LPjobs, the premiere online source for loss prevention employment and e-recruiting.[text_ad use_post=’2385′]- Sponsor – (This post was originally published in 2017 and is updated regularly.) Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.  Sign up nowlast_img

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Google Tweaks Its Search Algorithm to Account for Merchant Reviews

first_imgaudrey watters Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#Google#web center_img Google has announced it’s made a change to its search algorithm to better account for negative online reviews. The action is a result of a story in Sunday’s edition of The New York Times that told the story of one woman’s experience with an online vendor. According to the article, the company in question had managed to get to the front page of a Google search in part by cultivating terrible reviews: “Online chatter about DecorMyEyes, even furious online chatter, pushed the site higher in Google search results, which led to greater sales. [The company owner] closed with a sardonic expression of gratitude: ‘I never had the amount of traffic I have now since my 1st complaint. I am in heaven.’”Some of the article was simply wrong. Links from GetSatisfaction, for example, all are “no follow,” and many other sites with complaints about the company didn’t actually contain links, as Search Engine Land has pointed out.Nevertheless, Google has responded by taking a number of steps to address this particular sort of “gaming of the system,” including a tweak to its algorithm. It lists a number of the options it could have taken – simply blocking the offender in question or including sentiment analysis in search engine rankings. But as Google notes, it’s not possible to give too much weight to sentiment analysis, as it would be easy to bury “important but controversial concepts.” Instead, says Google, merchant reviews will now be taken into account in search rankings, as the company has “developed an algorithmic solution which detects the merchant from the Times article along with hundreds of other merchants that, in our opinion, provide an extremely poor user experience.”Google admits this will not solve the problem entirely, but it “can say with reasonable confidence that being bad to customers is bad for business on Google.” Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

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10 months agoReal Madrid captain Ramos hits out at Mourinho rumours

first_imgAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Real Madrid captain Ramos hits out at Mourinho rumoursby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveReal Madrid captain Sergio Ramos has hit out at talk of Jose Mourinho replacing coach Santiago Solari.Ramos was in no mood to entertain reporters questions on the Portuguese.”I’m nobody to decide who the Real Madrid coach is,” he said.”We’ve been without Mourinho for five years and you’re still talking about him.”We have the chance to win a title and we’re talking about Mourinho.”A captain doesn’t decide the coaches.” last_img

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NWA Winners of the PCJ’s Energy Champion Competition

first_img The National Works Agency (NWA) are winners of the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica’s (PCJ) Government of Jamaica Energy Champion Competition. The NWA recorded a 20 per cent reduction in their energy costs over the period, which translated in savings of $1.6 million. For their effort, the Agency won $1 million dollars’ worth of energy saving equipment. Property and Estate Manager at the NWA, Khalid Peart, tells JIS News that in preparing for the competition, a walk-through audit was undertaken by the Electrical Mechanical Supervisor, who identified the energy consumption and cost. The National Works Agency (NWA) are winners of the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica’s (PCJ) Government of Jamaica Energy Champion Competition.During the event, competing entities had to show a reduction in their energy consumption between September and December 2017 compared to the corresponding period in 2016.The NWA recorded a 20 per cent reduction in their energy costs over the period, which translated in savings of $1.6 million. For their effort, the Agency won $1 million dollars’ worth of energy saving equipment.Property and Estate Manager at the NWA, Khalid Peart, tells JIS News that in preparing for the competition, a walk-through audit was undertaken by the Electrical Mechanical Supervisor, who identified the energy consumption and cost.Mr. Peart says from that initial step, an energy management committee within the Agency was created.This committee, he says included members from the Accounting, Procurement, Information and Technology and Property and Estate Management Departments.He notes that the committee then created new and innovative ways to get across the message of energy savings to staff members.“A number of social initiatives were implemented to change the culture of the staff,” he informs.Some of the measures included, maintaining the temperature of the air conditioning (AC) unit at a range that is comfortable, but not at a level that would increase the energy consumption.Additionally, employees were encouraged to turn off their AC unit or computer if they were going to be out of the office for more than an hour.Mr. Peart says that the staff were on board with the measures, adding that “it sparked a lot of discussion.”“We had to explain how this change in behaviour would actually affect the utilities, which enhanced the buy-in that we got from them,” he shares.Additionally, he says that the initiative sparked questions on how this could be applicable within their homes as well, “so that they could take some of these practices home to see a personal benefit.”To assist with this, Mr. Peart says that the Agency undertook some information sessions highlighting “what to look for on a particular product when you are buying it, to see how energy efficient it is, so that they can see some savings on their light bill.”He states that persuasion and reinforcement of the messages were key to keeping the staff on track and getting more buy-in, adding that some of the tools used to promote the conservation included the intranet, posters and short phone messages.“For example, we had a timely message that was sent out during lunch hour to turn off AC units when leaving the office for lunch,” he shares.Meanwhile, Mr. Peart says the competition allowed the Agency to create a culture of energy conservation and efficiency.The Property and Estate Manager notes that prior to the competition, the NWA had an energy conservation programme, converting the fluorescent tubes to light-emitting diode (LED) tubes.He says other measures implemented by the Agency included using LED flood- lights for external lighting and replacing older refrigerator units with inverter-types.Additionally, the Agency installed a foam cool-roof system on a section of the building to reduce the heat load; tinted a number of windows and installed motion sensors in some of the bathrooms, and common areas.Window locks and door seeps were also replaced to reduce the amount of cool air leaving the building.Following the end of the competition, Mr. Peart says that “energy conservation and efficiency is now a culture within the organisation, so it is something that we expect to stay with us for years to come.”Additionally, he says that the Energy Savings Committee will remain in place, even though the competition has ended.The PCJ Energy Champion competition was part of the Government’s thrust to get public sector agencies and employees to become more efficient in their use of energy. Story Highlightslast_img read more

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Sugar Ray Leonard Attends StarStudded Charity Boxing Night

first_imgThis week, B. Riley & Co. and the Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation co-hosted the 6th Annual “Big Fighters, Big Cause” Charity Boxing Night at The Ray Dolby Ballroom at the Hollywood & Highland Center.Laila Ali and Sugar Ray LeonardCredit/Copyright: Mark Davis / Getty Images for Sugar Ray Leonard FoundationProceeds from the exclusive event supported the Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation and their mission to raise funds for research and awareness towards a cure for Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes and to help children live healthier lives through diet and exercise.Holly Robinson Peete and Cedric The EntertainerCredit/Copyright: Mark Davis / Getty Images for Sugar Ray Leonard FoundationAttendees included: Sugar Ray Leonard, Event Emcee Bill Bellamy (Actor & Comedian), Bryant Riley (Chairman, B. Riley & Co.), Catherine Bach (The Young and the Restless), Cedric the Entertainer (The Soul Man), David James Elliott (Actor), Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (Boxer), Holly Robinson-Peete (Mike & Molly) & husband Rodney Peete (Former NFL Player), Jennifer Widerstrom (NBC’s The Biggest Loser), Jessica Sanchez (Recording Artist), Jimmy Jam (Music Producer), Johnny Gill (Recording Artist), Laila Ali (Former Boxer) & husband Curtis Conway (Former NFL Player), Mia St. John (Boxer), Michael Buffer (Boxer/Wrestling Ring Announcer), Mike Lee (Boxer), Sergio Mora (Boxer), Terry Norris (Former Boxer), Thomas “Hitman” Hearns (Former Boxer), Tommy Davidson (Actor/Comedian), Wolfgang Puck, and more.last_img read more

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Aurora Cannabis signs loan deal for up to 250 million with Bank

first_imgEDMONTON – Aurora Cannabis Inc. has signed a loan deal with the Bank of Montreal for up to $250 million.Aurora chief executive Terry Booth called it the largest traditional debt facility in the cannabis industry to date.Under the agreement, Aurora will receive a $150-million term loan and a $50-million revolving credit facility, both of which will mature in 2021.A short period after Ottawa’s legislation to legalize and regulate recreational marijuana comes into effect in October, the company may request an increase of up to $45 million for the term loan.BMO will also provide up to $5 million in other credit instruments.The debt facility will be primarily secured by Aurora’s production facilities.Companies in this story: (TSX:ACB, TSX:BMO)last_img

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City of Fort St John raises flag in honour of Pride milestone

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – City of Fort St. John Council and the North Peace Pride Society held a Pride flag raising outside of City Hall on Friday, May 17.According to the Pride Society, the purpose of the flag raising ceremony is to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Decriminalization of same-sex relationships in Canada.Mayor Lori Ackerman says it is an important day to fly the flag, adding that she almost lost her brother 30 years ago due to discrimination towards homosexuals. “This is a remarkable day for us, and Fort St. John, to be able to fly the flag. I think it’s extremely important. I want to thank all of you for the work that you have done over the years. 30 years ago, I almost lost a brother because of his fear and I can say now that he is happy and healthy, so thank you so much.”LGBTQ organizations across Canada have raised Pride flags in recognition of this point in Canadian history.The fourth Annual Pride Walk will be taking place on Saturday, June 1.The Walk will start at the WY Centennial Park near CM Finch School and will travel down 100 Street to Centennial Park.For more information, you can visit the North Peace Pride Society’s Facebook page.last_img read more

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‘We are hopeful of playing maximum home games at Eden’

first_imgKolkata: Kolkata Knight Riders CEO Venky Mysore is hopeful that the franchise will able to play most of their home games at Eden Gardens despite seven-phase polling in Bengal during the upcoming general elections. The IPL will start on March 23 and end on May 12 while the general elections are slated to be held in seven phases between April 11 and May 19. Since Bengal will have elections in all seven phases, April 11, 18, 23, 29, May 6, 12 and 19, there is a possibility that some of KKR’s matches may be shifted to neutral venues. As per the two-week schedule, KKR are playing two home games vs Sunrisers (March 24) and KXIP (March 27) and two away games against Delhi Capitals (Mar 30) and RCB (April 5). “We have had some good meetings with the concerned authorities today, so fingers crossed. We are waiting for some clarification. I think they (authorities) are very keen to make sure that we play in the Eden. If all goes well, we will play our home games here only,” Mysore told reporters at Eden Gardens on Wednesday. “Now that the date of the elections have come out, the authorities are taking a hard look at how they can ensure we play as many as possible matches in Kolkata,” Mysore said. However, if security deployment becomes an issue during the polls, there are back-up plans in place, said Mysore. “In case we cannot play at the Eden, then we have a plan B and plan C ready. We had a meeting today. Let’s see. All our fans as well as the team wants us play at the Eden,” Mysore reiterated.last_img read more

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Mike Woodson Knicks Plan To Match Jeremy Lin Offer

A source close to Lin who spoke with ESPNNewYork.com was somewhat surprised the Knicks didn’t offer a contract right away, but knew Lin wouldn’t be leaving New York. The source believed the Knicks would match any offer because of his value to the organization on and off the court in business growth. In 35 games during the regular season, Lin averaged 14.6 points and 6.2 assists per game. When Lin was leading the team to a 6-1 stretch in mid-March right after Woodson took over for Mike D’Antoni, five players (including Lin) were scoring in double figures, and the Knicks were averaging 100.9 points per game and holding opponents to only 86.9. Mike Woodson New York Knicks’ coach, knows he needs players to win. So it was no surprise that he said emphatically that the team would “absolutely” match the Houston Rockets four-year, $28.8 million offer sheet for point guard Jeremy Lin. Woodson said he may use Lin and Kidd together at times in the backcourt, so Prigioni could get some solid minutes with the second unit. A report surfaced Wednesday from the New York Daily News that Lin was upset the Knicks didn’t offer him a new contract before the Rockets came calling. But Lin went on to tweet, “Lol why do u guys believe everything? No quotes from me = probably not true.” Woodson said he didn’t blink at all when the Rockets made their official pitch last week. “Never once,” he told a small group of reporters in Las Vegas where the Knicks are participating in summer league. “Jeremy Lin has always been a big part of what we’re trying to do as we move forward with our franchise.”This wasn’t the first time Woodson used the word “absolutely” when asked whether Lin would return to New York. He mentioned it at season’s end after their first-round playoff exit to the Miami Heat, saying the “future’s very bright for him.” Woodson said the Knicks probably will sign Jason Kidd to their mid-level exception of $3.09 million on Thursday. Woodson said Kidd will be “a perfect fit” for Lin. In addition to Prigioni’s proven success playing for club teams in Argentina and Europe, where he was a top passer and defender, Bass said the Knicks felt like he was young enough with no major injuries to help the team. Prigioni will serve as a backup to Lin — once the Knicks match the Rockets’ offer sheet for four years, $28.8 million — and Kidd, who’s yet to sign. Kidd’s deal will likely be at the mid-level exception for $3.09 million. “Jason’s a veteran guy that brings leadership,” he said. “He’ll be able to tutor (Lin) as he grows as a point guard for our franchise. And Jason can still play and run a ballclub, so that’s important I think as we move forward and get ready for (training) camp and start the upcoming season.”On Wednesday, the Knicks finalized a one-year contract with Argentinian point guard Pablo Prigioni for the rookie’s minimum, according to a source.Prigioni’s agent, George Bass, said his client had been on Knicks GM Glen Grunwald’s radar for about five years. Grunwald  and the team’s front office met with Prigioni a few weeks ago in New York, where he’ll be playing in the NBA for the first time as a 35-year-old. Bass said Prigioni is a pass-first point guard like Kidd and will do a great job mentoring Lin. read more

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