In the Brocade complaint, the SEC said that the company committed fraud through former CEO Gregory L.Reyes and other former executives, who repeatedly granted backdated stock options, misstated compensation expenses, and concealed the conduct by falsifying documents.
Software maker Mercury Interactive and networking company Brocade, without admitting or denying the allegations, also agreed to be permanently enjoined against further violations.
In the case of Mercury, acquired by Hewlett-Packard last November, the SEC also charged four former senior officers of Mercury: former chairman and CEO Amnon Landan, CFOs Sharlene Abrams and Douglas Smith, and general counsel Susan Skaer.
It accused Skaer or others at her direction of preparing false documentation for the grants, including false written consents and meeting minutes.
The complaint alleged that Landan, Abrams, Smith, and Skaer each personally benefited from in-the-money backdated stock options, in the aggregate collecting millions of dollars through the fraudulent scheme.
Sometimes certain claims (such as insurance claims) can be backdated if the could not be completed at an earlier date, although there must be good reason for neglecting to claim in advance.