Mercury Lawyer Settles Stock Backdating with SEC


The last remaining Mercury Interactive executive accused of stock options backdating has reached a deal with the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to court papers posted Wednesday.

Former Mercury general counsel Susan Skaer reached a settlement with the SEC, although the terms were not disclosed.

Last week, the SEC agreed to a $3 million settlement with former Mercury Chief Executive Officer Amnon Landon and Douglas Smith, the former chief financial officer. Landon agreed to pay $2.25 million, including $1 million civil penalty and $1.25 million in disgorged gains, according to the SEC.

He previously returned $2.8 million in vested options as part of a $5 million repayment to Mercury in cash and bonuses he owes the company.

Smith agreed to pay $551,000 including $100,000 penalty and to disgorge $451,000 in benefits from backdated options.

The SEC accused all three of changing the issue dates on company stock options between 1999 and 2002 to take advantage of lower stock price dates to make the options more valuable when they were sold.

Case: SEC v. Mercury Interactive, No. C07-2833WHA



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