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Broadcom's Nicholas spends six hours at U.S. courthouse

May 30, 2008|From the Associated Press

Broadcom's co-founder and former chief executive spent six hours Wednesday inside a federal courthouse in Santa Ana, the same day a grand jury met as part of its ongoing probe into possible allegations of accounting fraud and stock option backdating.

Henry T. Nicholas III declined to comment as he left the courthouse in the late afternoon.

Federal prosecutors and law enforcement officials also declined to comment. Prosecutors have previously called Nicholas and co-founder Henry Samueli "unindicted potential co-conspirators" in the grand jury investigation.

The Securities and Exchange Commission this month filed a lawsuit that accused Samueli, Nicholas, former Chief Financial Officer William J. Ruehle and David Dull, Broadcom's general counsel, of accounting fraud and lying to shareholders by backdating employee stock options.

The financial scheme forced the Irvine semiconductor company to issue a non-cash financial restatement of $2.2 billion in January 2007 -- the largest accounting restatement to date because of backdating.

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