Looking backward, I'll ruminate a little about how we got here, and finally, at the risk of appearing to be or worse, actually being the secular equivalent of a sanctimonious twit, offer some thoughts looking forward on lessons we might take away from all of this. I have reached the point in life where I view the world through ridiculously expensive progressive lenses, but I guarantee you these lenses are not rose-colored. To recap much of what you may already have read or heard, the Division of Enforcement is investigating over 100 matters relating to potential abuses of employee stock options.I should begin of course where I always do with a disclaimer. The investigations are being conducted by SEC offices throughout the country and are being centrally coordinated and tracked here in Washington.Readers interested in keeping up to date on the number of lawsuits will want to check back frequently. The running tallies below are meant to include a listing of any company that has been sued based on allegations of options timing manipulations, regardless whether the allegations are based on options backdating, options springloading, or hiring-related options timing. The Special Committee found the evidence to be insufficient to establish that any person involved in the annual grant process intentionally backdated any annual grant (i.e., selected the date of grant with the benefit of hindsight).
Newpark Resources (see discussion of this case here) 24. Pain Care Holdings (see discussion of this case here). In 1996 the company acquired the Dollar Bills chain, which added 136 additional stores, many of them in urban areas Dollar Tree had previously avoided.In 1998 it took over the 98 Cents Clearance Centers chain in California and Nevada.My views are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Commission or any other member of the staff. In addition to our investigations, there is substantial criminal interest in options matters from United States Attorneys' Offices nationwide.In recent months, the SEC has brought two enforcement actions one relating to Brocade and another involving Comverse.