The Backdating Scene

I've been fairly--or is that Unfairly?--obsessed with the backdating scandal at Afflilated Computer Services Inc., which is being investigated by the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission for giving stock options to its top execs and dating them just before those stocks experienced a sharp increase in value, which allowed the bigwigs to make big, easy money. Well, ACS is only one of many companies getting undressed by the SEC and shareholders, and the latest is Progress Software Corporation, which is based in in Bedford, Mass. It too is being informally investigated by the SEC, and yesterday a shareholder lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts.

So, why is this of local interest? Well, the shareholders in this suit ars being represented by none other than Baron & Budd, P.C., which is trolling for other stockholders who wanna turn this sucker into a good ol' class action. According to the Oak Lawn Avenue-based firm in a release issued today, it is "pursuing an even more expanded time period and has uncovered an apparent scheme to grant stock options to executives at unusually favorable dates and prices to the detriment of Progress Software and its shareholders." I believe that's referred to as "trial by press release." --Robert Wilonsky

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