Judge refuses to dismiss Siebel suit

    April 11, 2003

A federal judge on Thursday declined to dismiss a lawsuit alleging that software maker Siebel Systems overstated its earnings by concealing stock options granted to its founder and chief executive.

The judge in San Mateo, Calif., set an Oct. 6 trial date for the lawsuit against Siebel, filed last year by the Teachers’ Retirement System of Louisiana, which had invested in Siebel stock.

The lawsuit alleges that Siebel violated its own rules for granting options, both by exceeding a cap set on the number of options it was allowed to grant, and in some cases issuing options at below market value without expensing the difference in price.

Earlier this year, the company canceled nearly 26 million options it had agreed to grant to Chief Executive Officer Tom Siebel, a move analysts read as an effort to defray criticism of his compensation.

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