(Updates with lawyer’s comment in fifth paragraph.)
Oct. 19 (Bloomberg) -- The former general counsel of KLA- Tencor Corp. and Juniper Networks Inc. agreed to pay $350,000 to settle allegations by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission related to backdating of stock options.
Lisa Berry, the former executive, also agreed give up $77,120 that the SEC said she made as a result of the backdating, according to an agency statement. Berry didn’t admit or deny backdating option grants at the two companies from 1997 to 2003.
“Berry caused KLA-Tencor and Juniper to report false financial information to the investing public through her preparation of corporate records that concealed that employee stock option grants were priced with the benefit of hindsight,” the SEC said.
She was the first person accused of backdating options at more than one company. She left KLA and joined Juniper in 1999, just before it became a public company, according to the SEC’s complaint filed in 2007.
Her attorney, James Kramer of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, said in an e-mailed statement that Berry “is pleased to have reached a resolution in the case.”
“While the agreement with the SEC prevents her from discussing the case, it makes clear that Ms. Berry does not admit to any of the SEC’s assertions, and she looks forward to continuing her career as a practicing lawyer,” Kramer said.
Claims Against Companies
The commission previously settled claims against the companies and KLA-Tencor’s former chief executive officer, Kenneth Schroeder, according to the SEC’s statement.
Berry also agreed to be suspended from appearing as an attorney before the SEC, the commission said. She may apply for reinstatement in five years.
Juniper, based in Sunnyvale, California, makes equipment for directing Internet communications. KLA-Tencor, based in Milpitas, California, makes monitoring systems for the semiconductor industry.
The case is SEC v. Berry, 07-cv-4431, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose).
--Editors: Fred Strasser, Stephen Farr
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