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SEC, Google settle complaint over unregistered employee stock options

[JURIST] Google Inc. [corporate site] and the Securities and Exchange Commission [official site] have settled a complaint over the company's failure to register employee stock options during its initial public offering in August. The settlement, in which Google accepted a cease-and-desist order by the SEC, allows the company to avoid any financial penalties. The SEC charged Google with violating a requirement that companies issuing more than $5 million in stock options to employees within a 12-month period notify the SEC or disclose financial information to the employees, but the SEC did not charge Google with fraudulent actions. Google issued more than $80 million in options. Employees buying stock options prior to the IPO risked losing money if the stock value dropped. Google's general counsel David C. Drummond [corporate profile] was named in the compaint because the SEC alleged he knew of the requirement. Drummond also faces civil charges in a case against another company, Smartforce, for which he served as CFO. Read the SEC press release on the charges against Google, as well as a Google filing made in response to the charges. The Boston Globe has more.

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