Somewhere in the skies amid Orange County and Las Vegas, federal prosecutors say, Broadcom Corp. co-founder and hard-partying billionaire Henry T. Nicholas III gave new acceptation to the appellation “highflying.”
Winging their way to Sin City in 2001, Nicholas and his associates generated so abundant marijuana smoke that it billowed into the cockpit, “requiring the pilot aerial the even to put on an oxygen mask,” according to a federal admirable board allegation fabricated accessible Thursday.
The indictment, issued beneath allowance a day earlier, accused Nicholas of doling out drugs and prostitutes as allotment of a freewheeling lifestyle.
A additional allegation accused Nicholas of manipulating banal options at Broadcom, the Irvine-based maker of computer chips acclimated in such articles as adaptable phones, Apple Inc.’s iPod and Nintendo Co.’s Wii consoles.
Broadcom co-founder Henry Samueli was not charged, but was referred to as an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the banal options indictment, which articular him by his initials.
The two founded Broadcom in 1991. They are amid the best-known entrepreneurs in Southern California, accepting helped appearance Orange County’s avant-garde angel as a technology magnet.
The Securities and Exchange Commission aftermost ages accused Samueli and Nicholas of backdating banal options to accomplish them added valuable, arch Samueli to footfall a as Broadcom’s administrator awaiting resolution of the case.
Samueli, who additionally owns the National Hockey League’s Anaheim Ducks, has denied any wrongdoing.
Nicholas, who stepped bottomward as Broadcom’s arch controlling in 2003, surrendered Thursday morning to the FBI.
In a 21-count indictment, Nicholas and William J. Ruehle, 66, Broadcom’s above arch banking officer, were accused of backdating millions of banal options for bristles years to break accolade employees.
A second, four-count allegation names alone Nicholas, 48, and alleges that he maintained homes and bartering backdrop in Orange County and Las Vegas for the “purpose of application and distributing controlled substances,” including cocaine and methamphetamine.
Among added things, Nicholas allegedly supplied Broadcom barter with prostitutes and narcotics he sometimes referred to as “party favors.” He is accused of bottomward drugs into some of their drinks.
“Defendant Nicholas acicular the drinks of others with MDMA (ecstasy) after their knowledge, including . . . the drinks of technology admiral and assembly who formed for Broadcom’s customers,” the allegation alleged. No victims were articular by name.
Lawyers for both men denied the allegations.
“Dr. Nicholas will challenge these accuse vigorously,” his advance attorney, Brendan V. Sullivan Jr. of Washington, D.C., said in a statement. “He is assured that he will be absolutely vindicated.”
Ruehle’s lawyer, Richard Marmaro of Los Angeles, said Ruehle “looks advanced to the befalling to bright his acceptable name in a cloister of law.”
Under aing watch
At an afternoon audition in U.S. District Cloister in Santa Ana, Nicholas sat agilely in a board box with bent defendants from added cases, the apart sleeves of his dress shirt pulled over his handcuffs. He occasionally scowled as his attorneys and prosecutors argued over whether he should be captivated after band as a flight accident and a blackmail to the community.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Nakazato ordered Nicholas freed on band of $3.4 actor anchored by acreage apprenticed by his mother, who was in cloister Thursday, and a accumulation of friends.
Nakazato ordered that Nicholas be bedfast to a Malibu biologic analysis facility, with cyberbanking monitoring, and that his two clandestine planes be disabled. He warned Nicholas that he would be arrested if he abandoned any agreement of his release, which additionally agree accidental biologic tests.
He and Ruehle, who additionally appeared in cloister Thursday and was freed on a $2-million bond, are to be arraigned June 16.
The allegation that names both men capacity a cabal to backdate banal options to accomplish them account added to advisers after accepting to address the bulk to shareholders.
An big-ticket fix
To actual its books, Broadcom aftermost year recorded $2.2 billion in ahead unreported costs — the better such acclimation amid the added than 200 firms whose options practices accept appear beneath scrutiny.
“By fraudulently backdating and repricing advantage grants, defendants and their co-conspirators bamboozled Broadcom’s shareholders, abeyant shareholders and auditors as to the attributes and bulk Broadcom absolutely was compensating its advisers and officers,” the allegation alleged.
Stock options were commonly acclimated to recruit or absorb advisers during the high-tech bang of the backward 1990s.
The allegation capacity one such arrangement, back Nicholas in June 1999 assassin an architect articular in the allegation by his initials, M.N.
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