The US Securities and Exchange Commission has sent publisher Take-Two a Wells notice, which indicates that the agency is considering filing charges and pursuing a "civil monetary penalty," according to Reuters
Though the publisher has previously been entangled with the government over a cup of warm java
, the issue here arises from improper backdating of employee stock options. An internal review by the publisher discovered that their financial records for the last decade were unreliable
. Former CEO Ryan Bryant has already plead guilty and was punished
five years of probation and millions of dollars in fines.
The Wells notice gives Take-Two a final chance to convince the SEC not to take action. Though their financial quarter already looks bleak given the GTA IV delay
, the company may have a hit on their hands with BioShock
given the inordinate amount of praise that title has received.