A verdict was returned just last week, which found Carl Jasper, the former
finance chief of Maxim Integrated Products Inc., liable for securities fraud.
According the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Jasper hid
hundreds of millions of dollars in expenses from investors and exaggerated
Maxim’s income, by improper backdating. Jasper had served as the
principal accounting officer and vice president for Maxim from 1999 to 2007.
The SEC alleged that Maxim, which is based in Sunnyvale, California, had
backdated options and overstated earning from 2000 to 2005. John Gifford,
the founder and former chairman of Maxim, had agreed to pay over $800,000
to settle SEC claims in 2007. Gifford died in January 2009. He never admitted
or denied wrongdoing under the agreements that were made.
Mark Fickes, the SEC’s trial counsel, was quoted as saying, “we
are pleased that a jury sitting in the heart of Silicon Valley recognized
that stock-option backdating is, in fact, a fraudulent practice that matters
to investors, and that Mr. Jasper, as the CFO of a public company, was
ultimately responsible for misleading investors about the accuracy of
Maxim’s financial reports.”
Jasper denied the SEC’s allegations and according to his lawyer,
he will request that the judge overrule the jury verdict.