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Rambus to Pay $10.8 Million to Settle Options Dating Suit

Rambus Inc. said it will pay $10.8 million to settle one of two remaining lawsuits over claims the company backdated stock option grants before 2006.

The settlement resolves a lawsuit brought by investor Stuart Steele in 2008 and related to grants that were incorrectly dated or accounted for prior to 2006. The majority of the grants in dispute occurred between 1998 and 2001, the company said today in a statement. The case was scheduled to go to trial in March, Rambus said.

Former Rambus Chairman Geoff Tate quit the board in 2006 after an internal investigation uncovered option backdating, a practice that can enrich recipients by setting grant dates to times when the stock traded lower, building in extra profit. The practice is illegal unless disclosed and recorded as expenses.

In September 2007, the company paid $18 million to settle a suit brought by shareholders who claimed executives misled them about Rambus’s financial performance and its options backdating.

The case is Steele v. Rambus, 08-cv-113682, Superior Court of California, Santa Clara County (San Jose).

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