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Nancy Tullos, a former Broadcom Corp. vice president of human resources, agreed to plead guilty to obstruction of justice in the options backdating case in Santa Ana, Calif. Tullos, 56, pleaded guilty to the single charge that accused her of telling a subordinate to delete an email that set the hire date of an engineer earlier than his actual employment to garner option price benefits. Tullos agreed to cooperate with federal officials in a continuing investigation of alleged options backdating by Broadcom executives. The change was roughly a $7 difference in the price of 120,000 options when the engineer was hired. Broadcom’s former chief financial officer, William J. Ruehle, retired last year in the midst of the backdating woes for the company that included an internal company investigation. In January 2007 the Irvine, Calif. chipmaker disclosed it would take a $2.24 billion backdating charge, triple its original 2006 estimates. Broadcom found in an internal investigation that 233 million company shares had been backdated. Tullos’ attorney Jason de Brettville, of Sullivan & Cromwell in Palo Alto, Calif., could not be reached for comment. The guilty plea by a human resources official comes as a San Francisco jury considers the fate of Brocade Communications Inc.’s former vice president for human resources, Stephanie Jensen, accused of conspiracy to falsify books and records in a backdating case with that firm.

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