Human Capital & Careers

On the Run, Ex-CEO of Comverse Arrested

Caught in Namibia, Jacob “Kobi” Alexander has been charged with fraud in connection with an investigation into alleged backdating of stock options ...
Stephen TaubSeptember 27, 2006

The fugitive former chief executive officer of Comverse Technology Inc. was indicted on a number of counts stemming from the stock options backdating scandal, was arrested Wednesday in Namibia, according to government officials.

Jacob “Kobi” Alexander, was arrested under a provisional warrant issued by a Namibian court at the request of the United States government, according to a joint announcement by Roslynn Mauskopf, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Mark Mershon, an assistant director in the New York Field Office of the FBI.

No other details of the arrest were provided. The United States intends to seek Alexander’s extradition to the United States to stand trial on the charges in his indictment, which was unsealed Wednesday in the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn.

Alexander, a dual citizen of the United States and Israel, is charged with conspiracy, two counts of securities fraud, eight counts of making false filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, four counts of mail fraud, 14 counts of wire fraud, and three counts of money laundering, according to the announcement. He faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.

The indictment also asks the ex-chief executive to forfeit about $138 million of his assets. Alexander’s alleged role in options backdating “victimized Comverse shareholders and deceived prospective investors,” said Mershon.

Nearly two months ago, federal prosecutors charged Alexander and two other former top executives at Comverse—ex-CFO David Kreinberg and former general counsel William Sorin—with fraud in connection with an investigation into alleged backdating of stock options.

Kreinberg and Sorin were arraigned in Brooklyn on August 9 and released on $1 million bail each, according to Newsday.

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