Judge: Lawsuit Against ex-Take2 Execs Can Move Forward

A lawsuit that alleges ex-executives of Take-Two Interactive Software illegally backdated stock options has been given the go-ahead to continue by a Manhattan federal judge.

Originally brought by Take-Two shareholders, Reuters reports that the suit targets former CEOs Ryan Brant and Kelly Sumner, along with ex-CFOs Larry Muller and James David with securities fraud based on options awarded after July 12, 2001. While U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain did dismiss an undetermined amount of claims because of their age, she ruled that it was inappropriate to dismiss the post-July 2001 claims because it was “far from clear” if they were brought too late.

The process of backdating stock options was described as involving “retroactive grants of stock options as of dates when stock prices are low, making the options more valuable.”

Take-Two already paid $3.0 million to Securities and Exchange a year-ago over similar allegations, in addition to a $300,000 payment made to the office of the Manhattan District Attorney to avoid criminal charges on the matter.

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