Government regulators charged former
chief Kenneth Schroeder with fraud Wednesday, alleging that he repeatedly engaged in stock option backdating.
The suit by the
Securities and Exchange Commission
seeks monetary penalties against Schroeder and seeks to bar him from serving as an officer of a public company.
According to the SEC, KLA concealed more than $200 million in stock option compensation by backdating grants. But the SEC gave the chip-equipment maker a pass because it cooperated in the government probe.
No fraud charges have been filed against KLA, and the SEC has reached a settlement with the company that entails a permanent injunction against future violations of the reporting, books and records, and internal control provisions of federal securities laws.
In other words, KLA promises not to backdate any more options.
Shares of KLA were up 15 cents at $59.46 in late trading Wednesday.
KLA is one of more than 100 companies that have come under scrutiny for the practice of backdating stock options.
KLA has said it plans to restate $400 million in noncash expenses to account for stock option backdating between 1997 and 2002.
Last year, the company said that
its general counsel had resigned in connection with the affair, while former chairman Jon Tompkins had resigned his seat on the board of directors.
KLA also said it had severed all employment ties with former CEO Kenneth Schroeder.