The Chairman of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission told reporters recently that the SEC is close to making announcements regarding ongoing stock options investigations. The Chairman said that the SEC believes it has "rounded up" most of the companies that improperly backdated options. According to the Chairman, the SEC will likely now increase the pace in which it announces whether it will drop or continue its investigations and whether the SEC will proceed with enforcement actions.
The announcement follows speculation regarding delays at the Department of Justice concerning its own stock options investigations. For example, the U.S. Attorney's office in San Francisco is reportedly investigating dozens of potential stock options matters. Recently, however, several prosecutors have left the Department, delaying those investigations. Until replacements are hired, the investigations are unlikely to proceed.