Former Tech Company CEO Who Fled Country Sentenced in Fraud Scheme

first_imgThe former chief of an Israeli technology firm who had eluded U.S. authorities for more than a decade before his extradition last year was sentenced Thursday to nearly three years in prison for his role in a lucrative fraud scheme.In what authorities said was the heaviest penalty ever handed down for a stock option backdating scheme, Jacob “Kobi” Alexander was ordered to serve 30 months in prison during his sentencing at U.S. District Court in Central Islip Thursday.Alexander’s punishment follows his guilty plea in September for a securities fraud scheme dating back nearly two decades. He was indicted more than 10 years ago but had fled to Namibia, a country in southwest Africa, with his family, to evade prosecution, authorities said.Federal prosecutors said Alexander, the former CEO of Comverse, which was traded on the NASDAQ 100, operated a fraudulent backdating scheme and subsequently lied to investors in public filings. Comverse had offices in Woodbury. The scheme went on from 1998 to 2006, authorities said. By backdating stock options, Alexander and his alleged co-conspirators made tens of millions in profits by selecting issuance dates when Comverse stock was trading lower. This allowed Comverse to inflate the amount of its profits and also violated the company’s shareholder-approved stock option plans, authorities said.Alexander’s plan to escape legal scrutiny included an attempt to bribe a witness into making false statements and abruptly fleeing the country, authorities said. Alexander was extradited from Namibia last year.“I deeply regret having participated in this conduct,” Alexander reportedly said back in September. In a statement, Robert Capers, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said Alexander’s conviction and sentence “should send a powerful message to high-ranking executives that corporate rank is no shield to criminal liability.” Embed from Getty Images Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York last_img read more

Messi back at the double after illness to sicken Celtic

first_imgBy Jamie McGeeverGLASGOW,(Reuters)-The dazzling Lionel Messi returned from illness to score yet another double to help Barcelona ease into the knockout stages of the Champions League for a 13th successive year with their 2-0 win at Celtic yesterday.Messi, who missed the goalless draw with Malaga on Saturday with a sickness bug, was back to his tormenting best just as he had been when scoring a hat-trick in Barca’s 7-0 win in the their Group C fixture at the Nou Camp two months earlier.The Argentinian followed up an impressive first-half strike from close range with a penalty after the break, and was a constant threat throughout the match alongside Brazilian team mate Neymar.The brace took Messi’s Champions League total to 92 goals, including nine in this season’s group stages alone, and though he narrowly missed a hat-trick, his genius ensured Celtic exited all European competition while Barca will progress as group winners.”It was a game that we expected. In one of the toughest groups, we have come top. I have to congratulate the team,” said Barcelona coach Luis Enrique.Celtic coach Brendan Rodgers had impressed upon his players not to give their illustrious opponents too much respect as they had done in Barcelona and they were certainly not humiliated in the same manner as they were in September.They had some decent goalscoring opportunities which fell to striker Moussa Dembele, but he failed to add to his three goals in this season’s group stage.For all Celtic’s pressing and possession, however, Barca had too much class with Messi their executioner again, latching on to Neymar’s dinked through ball to fire first-time past Craig Gordon in the 24th minute.He doubled his tally from the penalty spot in the 56th after Luis Suarez was fouled by Emilio Izaguirre.Messi had further opportunities to add to his tally and only a remarkable save by Gordon from a Suarez header in the first half prevented the winning margin from being wide.“The players gave everything,” said Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers.“We restricted them to one or two chances and at 1-0 we had a real chance to equalise. However, they went up to the other end and scored a second.”last_img read more