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Comverse Founder|Settles With SEC

(CN) - The Securities and Exchange Commission closed one of its earliest cases of stock options backdating on Tuesday, settling with Comverse Technology co-founder Jacob "Kobi" Alexander for $53.6 million.

Alexander, who fled to Namibia and is fighting extradition to face criminal charges in the United States, will also be permanently barred under the settlement from serving as an officer or director of a public company.

"The proposed settlement marks one of the largest disgorgement and penalty amounts imposed against an individual in a stock options backdating case," according to the SEC.

The former Comverse chair and CEO was one of three Comverse executives charged by the SEC in 2006 for spending the previous 14 years granting "undisclosed in-the-money options to themselves and to others by backdating stock option grants to coincide with historically low closing prices of Comverse common stock."

The two other Comverse executives settled their cases in late 2006 and early 2007. The SEC says Alexander fled the country just before the SEC filed charges against him, and he is currently still living in Namibia.

Under the settlement, Alexander will pay more than $47.6 million in disgorgement of ill-gotten gains and prejudgment interest, plus a $6 million penalty.

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