Take-Two execs plead guilty in backdating scheme

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NEW YORK -- Two senior executives for the embattled video game publisher Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. have pleaded guilty to falsifying company records in connection with a probe into backdated stock options, authorities said.

Manhattan District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau announced Friday the convictions of Kenneth I. Selterman, 57, Take-Two's former general counsel, and Patti Tay, 37, the company's former comptroller and chief accounting officer.

The pair both pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of falsifying business records in the second degree, Morgenthau said.

The New York-based company is best known for its "Grand Theft Auto series." So far, three of its executives have been convicted, including its former chairman and chief executive, Ryan A. Brant.

Brant became the first CEO to be convicted of backdating stock options, a practice that involves pegging stock options to favorable grant dates in the past to boost the recipients' award.

In February, Brant pleaded guilty in a New York state court to felony first-degree falsification of business records in a deal that let him avoid prison. He was ordered to pay $7.2 million.

As part of Tay's deal, she will give up $300,000 she made off the stock options scheme and be barred from holding "control management positions" in publicly traded companies for five years, Morgenthau said.

Tay, who was comptroller from 1998 to 2006, will also receive three years probation.

Under his plea agreement, Selterman will pay a $50,000 fine and will be permanently barred from holding "control management positions" in publicly traded companies. He will also be sentenced to probation and 200 hours of community service.

Authorities said he has given up the profits he made from the scheme.

Selterman was general counsel from 1999 to 2007.
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