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Former Mc Afee General Counsel Kent Roberts, accused of options backdating-related misconduct, was acquitted following a criminal jury trial and the SEC later dropped its separate enforcement action against him.But that apparently is not enough for Roberts – he wants vengeance.The former chief executive and another former executive at Brocade Communications have been convicted on backdating-related charges, and executives at Broadcom, Comverse, Monster, and Take-Two Interactive, have pleaded guilty. Law360 (February 27, 2007, AM EST) -- The former general counsel of Mc Afee Inc.He also alleges that the CEO and board members provided "false accounts" in SEC depositions about conversation that had with Roberts.The complaint alleges that Mc Afee "employed delay, misinformation, and selective disclosure to slant the evidence" away from the company grants "to depict Roberts to federal investigators as the individual behind the wrongdoing." The complaint further alleges that the company’s dealings with the governmental authorities were "deliberately tainted with deception, misinformation and withheld information." As further detailed in a September 17, 2009 article by Ross Todd on the Am Law Daily (here), Roberts’ complaint also contains a number of very specific allegations against Mc Afee’s outside attorneys and against the counsel to the board’s special litigation committee.
Allegations of improper stock accounting practices have led to investigations at numerous companies, including CNET Networks, publisher of Roberts alleges that the company’s "manipulation of evidence through Project Shield was a substantial factor in causing Roberts’ unwarranted prosecution" that "substantially and irreparably damaged Roberts’ career." Roberts accuses the company of malicious prosecution, defamation and false light invasion of privacy, and seeks to recover unspecified compensatory and punitive damages. Regardless whether or not his lawsuit succeeds, he will always have the option of selling the movie rights to his story, which reads like a Grisham novel.I found particularly compelling his account of the series of separate meetings with the CEO and board members in which (he contends) he himself brought to their attention an incident in which the company’s comptroller changed the date of one of Roberts’ option grants, and the next thing he knew he was being terminated and escorted out of the building.Kent Roberts, indicted in February 2007, was found not guilty on two of three felony counts of fraud in San Francisco federal court.The jury, following a two-week trial, was hung on a third count of falsifying accounting records. corporation to be criminally tried for alleged stock options backdating violations, his lawyer's office said. Roberts had long sought his day in court to prove his innocence," Steve Neal, lead trial counsel and chairman of the law firm of Cooley Godward Kronish, said in a statement.