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RIM’s Co-CEOs Will Pay Record Fine Related To Stock Option Backdating

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imageResearch In Motion, the Canadian BlackBerry-maker, will pay nearly $75 million in penalties and fees as part of a settlement related to charges regarding stock-option backdating, the WSJ reports. The settlement calls for Jim Balsillie, Mike Lazaridis and two other executives to pay a fine totaling 38.3 million Canadian dollars ($31 million). In addition, they’ll have to pay C$44.8 million for the cost of the internal investigation, and C$9.1 million to the Ontario Securities Commission for its investigation. The WSJ said the penalty is the largest ever paid by individuals to the OSC, and is just slightly less than the $79.2 million that the Globe and Mail speculated that the two would have to pay. RIM (NSDQ: RIMM) first reported the problems back in September 2006, and then reported in March 2007 that the backdating did occur, but that there was no intentional misconduct.

Several other RIM executives will also have to pay fines, albeit much smaller in comparison. The case is not still not completely closed because RIM still faces the SEC. RIM’s lead director John Richardson: “RIM is pleased that the parties have resolved matters with the OSC and looks forward to resolving matters with the SEC.” A settlement is reportedly in the works.

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