Under most circumstances, backdating is seen as fraudulent and illegal, although there are some situations in which backdating can be used in a legal and beneficial way, such as backdating a claim for a past period.
Sometimes certain claims (such as insurance claims) can be backdated if the could not be completed at an earlier date, although there must be good reason for neglecting to claim in advance.
The study, published in 1997 identified a strange pattern of extremely profitable option grants, seemingly perfectly timed to coincide with dates on which the shares were trading at a low price.
A series of two follow-up studies by professors at other universities suggested that the uncanny ability to time options grants could only have happened if the granters knew the prices in advance.
Options Backdating The essence of the options backdating scandal can be summarized simply as executives falsifying documents in order to earn more money by deceiving regulators, shareholders and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).