Feeds

SEC sticks up Grand Theft Auto maker for $3m

Settles backdating lawsuit

The Power of One Infographic

Take-Two Interactive, publisher of the Grand Theft Auto video game series, has agreed to pay US regulators $3m to settle a lawsuit over illegally backdating employee stock options.

The maker of the popular series was among more than 200 companies involved in a tech industry wide backdating probe by the US Securities and Exchange Commission that saw Dell, Apple, McAfee and Brocade investigated.

SEC claimed Take-Two defrauded investors by altering the dates of when stock options were granted for officers, directors, and key employees to when the price closed at historic lows. The practice isn't illegal in itself - unless a company fails to report it to regulators and investors.

The SEC claimed 100 occasions between the years 1997 and 2003 under the direction of Take-Two's former chief executive Ryan Brant. The ex-chief was previously charged for his alleged role in the scheme. He agreed to pay more than $6.3m and to never serve as an officer or director to a public company.

Without admitting or denying the SEC's allegations, Take-Two agreed to pay a civil penalty of $3m and an additional $300,00 to the New-York state District Attorney for cost of investigation and lawyer fees.

As part of the settlement, however, the company acknowledged that: "Certain of its former directors and officers engaged in certain illegal behaviors related to the historical granting of stock options." In return, the New York DA won't pursue charges for those "certain" activities.

"Resolving this issue has been a key objective for Take-Two since the current management team took office in early 2007, and we are gratified to have put this matter behind us," Take-Two's chairman Strauss Zelnick said in a statement. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

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 ran off to IBM
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
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
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
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

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
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.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
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.