Take two interactive backdating

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Backdating is not in itself illegal, as long as the practice has been properly disclosed to shareholders and fully accounted for.

The Justice Department has filed criminal charges relating to alleged backdating against former executives at Comverse Technology and .

The class action in New York alleged that "As a result, consumers like the Plaintiffs herein purchased the game not knowing of the pornographic content, and accordingly have suffered harms sounding in their claims set forth below for (a) violations of Uniform Deceptive Acts and Practices statutes (sometimes also referred to as "Consumer Protection Statutes"); (b) breach of the implied warranty of merchantability; and (c) unjust enrichment." While that was a serious public disturbance, the backdating going on behind the scenes was potentially much more destructive.

A Take-Two representative declined comment on Wednesday about Brant or the ongoing investigation.

The SEC said in a statement that Brant had agreed to settle charges that he "enriched himself and others" by granting undisclosed options to himself and other company employees.

It did not provide details about the other individuals.

The backdating benefited Brant, other senior executives, and employees, prosecutors say.

"If people are to have confidence in our financial markets, it is critical that public companies report their financial condition accurately," says Morgenthau.

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