RealMoney Radio: Fraud Fears

Aaron Task says the backdating cloud has made investors nervous.
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"Just when you think it's safe to get back in the water," said Aaron Task, who guest-hosted for Jim Cramer's

"RealMoney" radio show on Friday, along comes a scandal.

Task was referring to a story bubbling around Wall Street for the past two weeks that has investors rattled: Certain companies may have struck executives' stock options at the lowest possible price, when. doing so would have locked in instant profits to the grantees. Meanwhile, investors have been told only that the options were struck at-the-money, with no baked-in gains.

"It's illegal, it's immoral, its fraud," said Task. "Investors are wondering what is going to be the next shoe to drop."

Juniper Networks

(JNPR) - Get Report

is one such company to be implicated in the brouhaha. As are

Caremark Rx

(CMX)

,

UnitedHealth

(UNC)

, and

KLA-Tencor

(KLAC) - Get Report

, all of whom will be trying to explain what went on and why.

"Every day we go by without another company named, that's good for the market," said Task.

He also observed that a report released by Cowan showing the results of a study on options found no new examples of impropriety. That report may have a settling effect on the market, he said.

To see the most recent edition of The RealMoney Radio Recap in its entirety, please click here. This recap is published every day around 3 p.m. ET.

Aaron L. Task is the co-executive editor of TheStreet.com. In keeping with TSC's editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks, although he owns stock in TheStreet.com. He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships.

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to send him an email.