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SEC fines RIM executives for option backdating

Co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazardis, along with two other RIM executives, will have to pay the SEC fines for their stock-option backdating practices.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has levied fines against Research In Motion executives for their actions in a stock-option backdating scheme, two weeks after Canadian regulators took similar action.

The fines imposed by the SEC on RIM co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazardis won't be quite as steep as the ones ordered by the Ontario Securities Commission. Balsille will have to pay the SEC a total of $684,250 in fines and penalties, while Lazardis will have to cough up $478,300. Earlier this month, the OSC ordered the co-CEOs and RIM executives Dennis Kavelman and Angelo Loberto to pay $74 million in penalties and fines in Canada, where RIM is headquartered.

The four men settled the SEC's charges without admitting or denying the allegations. Kavelman and Loberto were also fined, and they were banned for a period of five years from serving as a public officer or director of a company that is registered with the SEC.