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Back dating stock options ethics in the workplace

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Enron's former CEO is set to start a year sentence in a federal prison in Minnesota.

Jeffrey Skilling, who won a delay Monday while the court considers a bail request during his appeal, was sentenced in October after being found guilty on numerous counts of fraud and conspiracy for his role in one of the biggest corporate accounting scandals in U.

It led to thousands of job cuts and billions of dollars in lost employee pensions at the now bankrupt energy company.

Through November, 1, CEOs resigned or were given the boot at businesses across the country, surpassing last year's year-end Back dating stock options ethics in the workplace of 1, the report says. Behind those numbers is yet another corporate scandal that has already claimed 15 CEOs, and several more senior executives, in the past two months alone — employee stock option backdating.

Since the start of the year, more than companies have undergone federal investigations into backdating, a way of boosting the value of options grants used as compensation by issuing them retroactively on days when company stocks were trading low, the Securities and Exchange Commission says. The worst offenders could be charged with securities fraud, and, if found guilty, face hefty fines and up to 15 years in jail.

The practice of backdating stock...

Lying to the auditors? So far, the agency has taken action against two companies for options backdating — one of which prompted a dramatic flight from justice by Comverse CEO Kobi Alexander, who eventually appeared in Namibia and is currently fighting extradition to the U. Thomsen says she expects only a fraction of the plus cases the SEC is currently investigating to lead to convictions or jail time. Thomsen believes it has. Frank Vogl, president of Vogl Communications, the Washington-based publisher of ethicsworld.

He cites a National Business Ethics survey showing a steady rise in employee-perceived corporate integrity standards today compared with 20 years ago, with U. As he awaits jail, Skilling is currently under house arrest and fitted with an electronic-monitoring device.

Skilling will be able to take a year off his year sentence by attending alcohol and mental-health counseling, plus up to 54 days for good behavior. Microsoft named Satya Nadella on Tuesday as its new chief executive officer.

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Nadella, who joined the software company 22 years ago, replaces Steve Ballmer. Corporate scandals on NBCNews.