Grant backdating


The company's stock had performed very well, although in 2006, after the allegations surfaced, it announced that it would be restating earnings.

An analysis of the likelihood that Mc Guire's options could have been as felicitously times as they were showed that the odds were millions to one against it. The state, however, has not taken a position on the merits of the claims.

On April 19, 2006, Minnesota Attorney General Mike Hatch asked to intervene in a shareholder lawsuit against United Health Group (Brandin v. Hatch said that the importance of the company to the state's health care system meant that if there were substantial and unjustified costs, Minnesotans could be harmed.

Backdating is not per se illegal, but, under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, top executives must report grants made to them within two days of the grant (before Sarbanes-Oxley, it was 45 days).

For its part, the company must report failure to comply on its annual proxy statement.

More telling, only 0.9% of the scheduled grants showed a pattern of fortuitous timing, strong proof that the pattern in unscheduled grants could not be the result of random variation.