Microtune Agrees to Settle Backdating Charges

July 2, 2008 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - As the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a civil action in United States District Court against Microtune, Inc. and two former senior officers, the firm agreed to settle the charges against it.

According to a news release, the lawsuit alleges former Chairman and CEO Douglas J. Bartek and former Chief Financial Officer and General Counsel Nancy Richardson violated securities law and therefore aided an abetted Microtune in its violations. The company, without admitting or denying wrongdoing, agreed to permanent injunctions against future violations of the securities laws.

The Commission’s complaint alleges that Bartek, with assistance from Richardson, routinely backdated the date on which he granted stock options to senior executives and other employees, and to conceal the scheme, Bartek directed others to backdate employment records to establish falsified start dates and grant dates that preceded the actual dates the new hires began working for Microtune, the news release said. In addition Bartek and Richardson are accused of falsifying or directing others to falsify stock option records, rather than report compensation expense as required at the time by U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.

In January 2007, Microtune announced that an internal investigation had uncovered a regular practice of backdating new hire options grants (See Microtune Uncovers “Regular Practice” of Stock Option Backdating ).