Feeds

Former Juniper attorney faces SEC's wrath

Juniper out of the bush but Berry gets the squeeze

Reducing security risks from open source software

Juniper Networks has settled with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over allegations of improper stock option backdating. But while the networking equipment maker swims out of hot water, its former legal counsel is getting a double dip in the stew pot.

The SEC filed fraud charges yesterday against Bay Area attorney Lisa Berry for her role in the backdating options while at Juniper and at KLA-Tencor Corporation.

The Commission's complaint against Berry, filed in federal district court in San Jose, accuses her serial backdating. While at KLA, she allegedly identified dates with historically low stock prices to facilitate the backdating of option grants by the companies option committee. Berry moved to Juniper shortly before its 1999 IPO. At Juniper, the SEC claims, she established a similar backdating process, creating minutes of fictitious stock option committee meetings to document false grant dates - at times using the names of other committee members with a signature stamp.

As a result of the allegedly misleading disclosures, KLA overstated its net income in fiscal years 1998 through 1999 by as much as 47 per cent. Juniper overstated its 2003 net income by nearly 22 per cent. This year, Juniper restated its financial earnings, showing nearly $900m in previously unreported compensation expenses.

"The Commission's action ... confirms that attorneys are no less bound by the securities laws than other public company executives," said Linda Chatman Thomsen, the SEC's director of enforcement. "At both KLA and Juniper, Ms. Berry was in a unique position to insure that the companies accurately disclosed their stock option expenses; instead, she facilitated their fraud on investors."

The SEC announced yesterday that — of course without admitting or denying the allegations — Juniper has consented to a permanent injunction against violations of the anti-fraud provisions of the federal securities laws. Juniper said it has done so without being fined, and the investigation is closed.

The charges against the company and Berry stem from an industry-wide probe of backdating investigation by the SEC. Last week, the commission fingered former Brocade CFO Michael Byrd with eight counts of fraud related to backdating stock options. Earlier this month, Gregory Reyes, Brocade's former CEO, was found guilty of backdating securities fraud. The company's former HR veep, Stephanie Jensen, also faces charges. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.