In one of the largest corporate pay give-backs ever, William W. McGuire, the former chief executive of UnitedHealth Group, has agreed to forfeit at least $418 million to settle claims related to back-dated stock options.
The payback is on top of roughly $198 million that Mr. McGuire, an entrepreneur who built UnitedHealth, had previously agreed to return to his former employer.
The total — $618 million — includes money that Mr. McGuire will return as part of separate settlements reached yesterday with the Securities and Exchange Commission and UnitedHealth shareholders. The forfeitures are the first time regulators have successfully employed corporate governance rules put in place after the collapse of Enron that force executives to disgorge ill-gotten gains.
As part of the settlement with the S.E.C., Mr. McGuire will pay a $7 million fine and will be barred from serving as a director of a public company for 10 years. He will, however, be allowed to keep stock options valued at more than $800 million, including many that have been sharply criticized.
The developments are the most significant to date since federal regulators started looking into the backdating of stock options. More than 120 companies have come under scrutiny for granting options to executives on dates when the company’s share price was low, a tactic that guaranteed the maximum profit when the options were exercised.
The settlement comes a year after the furor over compensation forced Mr. McGuire’s resignation from UnitedHealth, the nation’s largest health insurer.
In a statement yesterday, Mr. McGuire said that he was pleased to put the controversy behind him.
“The last 18 months have been an extraordinarily challenging period for my family, and I am pleased to have reached a resolution,” he said.