A federal judge killed the criminal stock-options backdating case against two former Broadcom executives today.
The judge dismissed the charges brought against Broadcom co-founder Henry Nicolas and former CFO William Ruehle. The dismissal ends the criminal case against the two because constitutional double-jeopardy rules forbid the government from appealing the decision.
This is another nail in the coffin of the government’s humiliating record in the criminal options backdating case. Options backdating became a huge deal when the Wall Street Journal ran a series of breathless reports on the case that falsely convinced many they had stumbled upon a fancy form of embezzlement. Pulitzer prizes were handed out, criminal charges leveled, and executives ousted. But now it has all ended with lots of fizzle and no pop.
A week ao, the same judge, U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney, dismissed the conviction of Broadcom co-founder Henry Samueli. The judge said that he didn’t think Samueli had done anything criminal.
In today’s dismissal, Carney [Editor’s note: no relation] ruled that prosecutors had improperly intimidated witnesses. He called the government’s conduct in the case “shameful.”
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