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U.S. May Charge Ex-Execs at Broadcom, Apple: WSJ

Federal prosecutors are strongly considering criminal charges against former executives of Broadcom , Apple , and KLA-Tencor , related to the backdating of stock options, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the situation.

Prosecutors are also nearing charges against a former official of computer-security company McAfee , the paper said, citing people familiar with the situation.

In addition, a former executive of Engineered Support Systems, a defense contractor now owned by DRS Technologies , has been told of a likely charge, the paper said, citing a person close to the matter.

More than 170 companies have been investigated by U.S. authorities or have conducted internal inquiries into possible manipulation of option grant dates. Some companies are accused of backdating grant dates to days when the share price was lower, giving the recipient the opportunity for extra profit.

On Thursday, the ex-general counsel at Monster Worldwide pleaded guilty to conspiracy and securities fraud in relation to the backdating of stock options, a day after the former chief executive of video game publisher Take-Two Interactive Software pleaded guilty to options-related charges.

Federal charges have also been brought against former executives at Brocade Communications Systems and Comverse Technology , stemming from the stock options backdating scandal.

Officials at Apple, KLA-Tencor, McAfee and DRS could not immediately be reached.

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