Take-Two Interactive has agreed to fork over $3 million as a civil penalty related to allegations the company backdated options. Although the company took the step, “(w)ithout admitting or denying the SEC’s allegations”, Take-Two Interactive acknowledged to the District Attorney serving the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York “that certain of its former directors and officers engaged in certain illegal behaviors related to the historical granting of stock options,” which the District Attorney agreed not to prosecute.
The company’s former CEO, Ryan Brant, plead guilty in 2007 to charges that he backdated stock option grants to increase their value to himself, other Take-Two executives, and company employees. Specifically, Brant plead guilty to first degree falsification of business records and agreed to pay a fine of $7.26 million and serve five years’ probation. However, the guilty plea enables Brant to avoid prison time.