(One who rose above it without any damage to his reputation was Steve Jobs, though two other Applites were fined and had to pay millions.) Kobi Alexander may have suspected that Comverse would be handled differently because of the companys size, and the extent of malfeasance associated with him.Be that as it may, rather than face the music, a decade ago he fled to Namibia, an African nation with which the United States has no extradition agreement.This matters: The backdating scandal was exposed thanks to researchers in American academia, which is a critical player in the American capital market.

Dozens of companies – including United Health Group, Comverse Technology, Vitesse Semiconductor and Affiliated Computer Services – have caught the eye of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice for the timing of their stock option grants.

The question: did these companies backdate options grants – and falsify records – to make them more lucrative for their top employees?

All six of his option grants between 19 were dated prior to a rise in stock price.

The odds of this happening are about one in 300 billion.

Or did a lot of CEOs just have amazingly good luck?

A stock option gives the recipient the right to purchase stock at a set price.

Its known that when Kobi Alexander landed back in the United States last Wednesday after 10 years on the lam, he was detained – and instead of being released as he expected, he was kept behind bars because, the Brooklyn judge explained, hes a flight risk. He became one of thousands of American market animals who were caught backdating stock options, which boiled down into ill-gotten gains – investors thought the executives were being rewarded for good performance.

The great majority of executives caught in the backdating scandals were fined; some were never charged at all.

Take this example, from The Wall Street Journal, which began investigating the practice last fall: "Suppose an executive gets 100,000 options on a day when the stock is at .