Tuesday, March 27, 2007
The SEC today announced that it has settled its enforcement action against Myron F. Olesnyckyj, the former general counsel of Monster Worldwide, Inc. In a parallel criminal action, Olesnyckyj pleaded guilty to one count of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and has agreed to pay a forfeiture of $381,000. Olesnyckyj has not yet been sentenced in the criminal action.
On February 15, 2007, the Commission filed its action against Olesnyckyj. The complaint alleged that, from 1997 through 2003, Olesnyckyj backdated stock options grants to coincide with the dates of low closing prices for the Company's common stock, resulting in grants of in-the-money options to numerous individuals. Olesnyckyj personally profited by receiving backdated options. The complaint further alleged that Olesnyckyj misled Monster's outside auditors in an attempt to hide the backdating scheme by providing documentation to them that misrepresented the grant date of the stock option awards.