SEC charges Monster with backdating stock options

19 May 2009

Monster Worldwide has agreed to pay a $2.5 million penalty to settle charges that the job search specialist secretly backdated stock options granted to thousands of its officers, directors and employees.

In its complaint, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said the firm had for a number of years granted backdated, undisclosed "in the money" stock options while failing to record the required non-cash charges for option-related compensation expenses.

Monster, it said, misled investors by failing to report these expenses, which ran into the hundreds of millions of dollars.

James Clarkson, acting regional director of the SEC's New York office said: "Backdating stock options made the company look like it had more money than it really did."

The SEC had previously charged four Monster executives - chief executive Andrew McKelvey, president and chief operating officer James Treacy, general counsel Myron Olesnyckyi and controller Anthony Bonica - over their alleged roles in the backdating scheme.

Monster agreed to pay the penalty without admitting or denying the charges.

Established in 1967, Monster Worldwide employs around 4,600 people and has job search sites in 30 different countries.

Become a bobsguide member to access the following

1. Unrestricted access to bobsguide
2. Send a proposal request
3. Insights delivered daily to your inbox
4. Career development