SAN FRANCISCO – LAWFUEL – Legal News Network – U.S. Attorney Kevin…

SAN FRANCISCO – LAWFUEL – Legal News Network – U.S. Attorney Kevin V. Ryan announced today that IRS-Criminal Investigation would join the local stock options backdating task force that was formed on July 12, 2006, to investigate alleged backdating of stock options with the intent to defraud in the Northern District of California. The task force is now composed of members of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the FBI, and IRS-Criminal Investigation in the Northern District of California.

U.S. Attorney Kevin V. Ryan stated, “We will investigate whether individuals and companies may have deliberately backdated stock options with the intent to defraud. It is integral to the public trust in our financial markets that books and records are maintained honestly, and that the true financial condition of public companies is disclosed accurately. Falsification or backdating of financial documents may call the integrity of companies’ financial statements into question, can constitute fraud on the company, shareholders, and the market, and may give rise to tax violations. We will evaluate the facts of each case, and we will bring criminal charges when appropriate.”

IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge, Roger L. Wirth said, “IRS Criminal Investigation is proud to bring our financial investigative expertise to the table in this effort to stop securities fraud and related white collar crime. With the recent discoveries of significant fraudulent misconduct in connection with backdating of stock options, IRS-CI will work to help ensure both the companies and executives involved in such illegal activity are in compliance with the tax laws and where we can assist our law enforcement partners and the U. S. Attorneys Office in enforcing the money laundering statutes. This task force is another example where by combining our resources together as a law enforcement community, we can have the greatest impact in stopping these criminal activities and hold the perpetrators accountable for their illegal actions.”

IRS-Criminal Investigation will contribute the following members to the task force:

Special Agent in Charge Roger L. Wirth

Assistant Special Agent in Charge Diane Carter

Supervisory Special Agent Jerry Yamachika

Special Agent Randy Krueger

In addition, the task force is currently composed of the following individuals:

First Assistant U.S. Attorney Eumi Choi – Chair of the task force

Assistant U.S. Attorney Haywood Gilliam, Chief of Securities Fraud Section

Assistant U.S. Attorney Doug Sprague, Chief of the Oakland Field Office

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Wang, Chief of the White Collar Section

Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Steskal

FBI Acting Special Agent in Charge Arthur Balizan

FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge David Johnson

FBI Supervisory Special Agent Tamara Neiman

FBI Supervisory Special Agent Pat Geonetta

Several FBI Special Agents throughout the Bay Area

As one of only two U.S. Attorney’s Offices in the country with a stand alone Securities Fraud Section, U.S. Attorney Ryan noted that FBI and IRS-CI investigators along with U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecutors have a practiced expertise in the investigation of complex white collar cases.

All press inquiries to the U.S. Attorney’s Office should be directed to Luke Macaulay at (415) 436-6757 or by email at [email protected]

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