In the latest development in the Cablevision stock options scandal, a group of shareholders has filed an amended complaint against outside compensation consultant, Lyons Benenson & Co., claiming the independent company knowingly facilitated Cablevision's stock options backdating.
The Teachers Retirement System of Louisiana and another group of shareholders holding common stock sued Lyons Berenson & Company and have retained the law firm of Grant & Eisenhofer as lead counsel.
Two months ago news broke that Cablevision awarded stock options to Marc Lustgarden--close friend of James Dolan and Cablevision's Vice Chairman and chief negotiator-- after his death from pancreatic cancer in 1999. The options, which totaled over 400,000, were dated to look like they were granted while he was still alive.
Later in September, Cablevision based in Bethpage, New York, admitted it violated it's compensation policies and restated its financial statements for the years 2003 to 2005.
According to the new complaint, which is being heard in New York Supreme Court, "LBC was aware that the options were being backdated and the assigned exercise prices of the options were less than the market price of the stock on the actual date of the grants."
According to the law firm, this may be the first time a compensation company has been implicated in a backdating case.
"As we said months ago when these lawsuits were filed, the company will have no comment," said Cablevision spokesman Charles Schueler.