Berry was charged by the SEC for her role in Juniper's options practices as well as at her previous employer, KLA-Tencor Corp., where she held the same job. Berry's lawyer referred inquiries to Juniper's outside counsel, who did not return calls.
It took $894.7 million in pretax charges for the years 1999 to 2005 to account for numerous grants that carried incorrect dates and were designed to boost the potential windfall for the recipients.
Other major backdating settlements include: a $925 million settlement involving managed care company United Health Group Inc.
in 2008, a $225 million settlement involving communications company Comverse Technology Inc., and chip maker Broadcom Corp.'s $160 million settlement, both of which occurred last year.
In 2001, KLA-Tencor Corp., a leading semiconductor-equipment maker, granted its top executives, including Chairman Ken Levy, two batches of stock options.
Shareholders claim stock prices were harmed by the executives' financial shenanigans, which falsely depressed their companies' expenses and inflated their profits.
The settlement was reached this week by lawyers for Juniper and the lead plaintiff, a group of New York City pension funds that had invested in Juniper.
They arrived on unusually fortunate days for the executives: The first dated at the share price's first-half low; the second at its second-half low. Levy received 10 grants from KLA-Tencor and its predecessor company between 19 -- all preceding quick runups in...
The penalty is huge for Juniper - it's more than half the network-equipment company's total profits from last year - and represents one of the biggest settlements of its kind.
A furor over "backdating," which refers to an accounting practice in which the dates and amounts on employee stock-option awards are changed to boost the recipients' windfalls, erupted about five years ago, leading to investigations of dozens of companies, criminal charges against executives, and numerous shareholder lawsuits.