Video Game Maker Reveals Backdated Options

January 22, 2007 ( - The publisher of a best-selling video game has revealed that it had a significant number of backdated stock option grants between April 1997 and August 2003.

In a regulatory filing , Take-Two Interactive Software said former Chief Executive Ryan Brant was responsible for backdating the options during the period, according to a Reuters report. The company is the publisher of the best-selling Grand Theft Auto video game.

Take-Two added that there was no evidence the current senior executive management engaged in any conduct that raised concerns about the reliability of their representation to the company’s auditors.

Last month, the company announced that some grants were incorrectly dated and that it would need to restate some financial results dating back to 1997. The company also noted at the time that its financial statements from 1997 through April 30, 2006, should no longer be relied on.

Take-Two paid $7.5 million to settle a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) lawsuit in 2005. The SEC alleged the company had overstated financial results from 2000 to 2001.

About 160 companies have been investigated or are conducting inquiries as part of a wide-ranging options backdating probe.