False options document nets former CEO millions

Two former outside directors and the former CEO of Brooks Automation Inc. signed a document that allowed the CEO to exercise an [tag]expired stock option[/tag], which netted him millions of dollars. The option was to expire in August 1999, and CEO Robert Therrien supposedly exercised it only two days before the deadline.

Company officials now say that the transaction actually occurred months later, and was permitted because the three men signed a document as if it happened in June. The document referenced a loan given to Thierren in August 1999, which supposedly was discussed by the men in June 1999. Brooks Automation has since found that no such discussions occurred in June, and Therrien exercised the options in November 1999 for a profit of $5.8 million.

The company recently restated some earnings to account for problems with their its accounting for stock options. A total of $60 million in expense was added to the company’s [tag]financial statements[/tag] for 1999 through 2005.

The full story from the Wall Street Journal can be read here.