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Nicholas trial delayed until 2010

Broadcom Corp. co-founder Henry T. Nicholas III had requested the postponement of his criminal trial to prepare his defense.

February 03, 2009|Stuart Pfeifer

A federal judge has postponed the criminal trial of Broadcom Corp. co-founder Henry T. Nicholas III until 2010, a delay the billionaire requested to help him prepare his defense against charges that he secretly manipulated stock options to reward employees.

U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney scheduled Nicholas' trial for Feb. 9, 2010, in Santa Ana, according to a ruling made public this week.

Carney also granted Nicholas' request to hold a separate trial for William Ruehle, the Irvine chip maker's former chief financial officer. Ruehle's trial is now scheduled for Oct. 20.

Ruehle and Nicholas had been scheduled to stand trial April 7.

In addition to the options case, Nicholas is accused in a separate indictment of providing narcotics and prostitutes to friends and business associates.

That trial is scheduled to be held after Nicholas' options case is resolved.

Separately, Broadcom co-founder Henry Samueli is appealing Carney's decision to reject a plea arrangement that would have allowed Samueli to pay a $12-million fine and receive probation for lying to regulators about his role in the options allegations.

Nicholas, Samueli and Ruehle are accused of backdating employee stock options to make them more valuable and failing to disclose that in public filings.

On Monday, a federal judge in Los Angeles ruled that shareholders can proceed with a lawsuit that accuses the chip maker of inflating reported earnings by failing to disclose the backdated stock options.

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stuart.pfeifer@latimes.com

Bloomberg News was used in compiling this report.

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