Canadian regulators seeking C$100 million from Balsillie, Lazaridis

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Potentially big news coming via the Globe and Mail this morning regarding RIM’s braintrust. Canadian regulators are seeking a record penalty as high as C$100 million from Co-CEO’s Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie for their role in a stock option accounting controversy dating back to 1996. For those that don’t remember, this is the same scandal that led to Balsillie stepping down as RIM Chairman.

In 2007, a special committee of RIM’s board investigated the back-dating issue, and determined the company had backdated more than 40 per cent of stock options granted to employees since 1996. It also concluded that 12 of the 16 option grants made to Mr. Balsillie and Mr. Lazaridis between 1996 and 2006, to acquire a total of two million shares, were priced using an incorrect date.

Reached last night at his home, Balsillie declined to comment on what he described as “rumours,” the paper reported. Neither Lazaridis nor his lawyer could be reached. A spokeswoman for the OSC said: “We can’t comment on enforcement cases.”

The Ontario Securities Commision is apparently pushing for Balsillie to pay the bulk of any penalty and relinquish his seat on RIM’s board of directors for a period of time. If the full $100-million penalty were approved, it would rank as the largest penalty paid by individuals to the OSC.

|via Globe and Mail|

  • Tessa

    As a result of all this will regular employees have to refile tax returns to pay back the tax benefits they got when cashing in their stock options? And if so, for how many years back would they have to do this?

  • Tessa

    As a result of all this will regular employees have to refile tax returns to pay back the tax benefits they got when cashing in their stock options? And if so, for how many years back would they have to do this?

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    It would rank as the largest penalty paid by individuals to the OSC.