The stock option backdating scandal is rapidly turning into the problem of the year for general counsel. In July, William Sorin became the first corporate legal chief to be criminally charged for suspicious option grants. Sorin was the outside GC of Comverse Technology Inc., for more than 20 years. He left the software manufacturer this past May.

Brooklyn, N.Y.-based federal prosecutors filed a criminal complaint and affidavit charging Sorin, former Comverse CEO Jacob Alexander and ex-CFO David Kreinberg with conspiracy to commit securities, wire and mail fraud. The defendants face a maximum five-year jail term if convicted. Sorin and Kreinberg were arraigned in federal district court in Brooklyn in August, but Alexander failed to appear.

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