Thursday, January 25, 2007

Revised Options Backdating Litigation Count

Regular D & O Diary readers know that I have been maintaining a running tally of options backdating related litigation (here). According to the most recent count, so far there have been 23 securities class action lawsuits raising allegations of options grant manipulations. (The Stanford Law School Securities Class Action Clearinghouse maintains its own tally on its home page, here, that agrees with my count.)

My running tally includes cases that did not originally involve (or feature prominently) allegations related to stock grant manipulations, but that were later amended to include or emphasize options backdating allegations. Because I have already made the decision to incorporate in my tally cases that included options backdating allegations by amendment, I feel compelled to revise my tally to include the Amkor Technology case.

The initial complaints in the Amkor Technology case, filed in January 2006, may be found here. The initial complaints did not contain options backdating allegations. In an Amended and Consolidated Complaint filed in the Amkor Technology case on August 14, 2006, the allegations in that lawsuit were significantly augmented to include detailed allegations of supposed options backdating, complete with the now standard stock price graphs showing arrows superimposed on stock price troughs when options allegedly were granted. (Links to the Amended and Consolidated Complaint are unavailable, but the Amended Consolidated Complaint in Amkor is available on PACER; anyone who wants a copy of the pleading but lacks a PACER subscription should drop me a note and I will email a copy).

I only became aware of the Amkor Amended and Consolidated Complaint by accident while I was looking for something else. I am concerned that there may be other pending securities fraud cases that did not contain options backdating allegations when initially filed that have been amended to include them. It would be extraordinarily helpful if D & O Diary readers who are aware of securities fraud lawsuits that have been amended to add options backdating allegations could let me know, so that I could adjust the options litigation tally accordingly.

With the addition of the Amkor Technology case, the tally of securities fraud lawsuits raising options grant manipulation allegations stands at 24.

As also noted in my running tally, the number of companies that have been named as nominal defendants in shareholders derivative lawsuits stands at 141. This count has been substantially revised this week thanks to information supplied by alert D & O Diary readers Bill Ballowe and Ben Eng. Hat tip to these gentlemen for their helpful information.

UPDATE: My request for help from readers has already yielded results. The list of securities fraud lawsuits involving options grant manipulations has been amended to include the lawsuit pending against Quest Software. The lead plaintiff's counsel's press release regarding the Quest Software case may be found here. With the addition of this case, the tally of securities fraud lawsuits now stands at 25. Hat tip to Adam Savett of the Lies, Damned Lies blog for the link to the press release.

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