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LOS ANGELES—A federal grand jury on Thursday returned an indictment charging the former chairman and chief executive of KB Home with multiple counts of fraud and other crimes related to a stock option backdating scheme that authorities say bilked the homebuilder's shareholders out of millions of dollars.
The 20-count indictment charges Bruce E. Karatz with 15 counts of mail, wire and securities fraud, four counts of making false statements in reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and one count of lying to the company's accountants, according to the U.S. attorney for the Central District of California.
Karatz, 63, faces up to 415 years in prison if convicted on all charges.
"Mr. Karatz allegedly broke the rules, and then lied about it, to line his pockets and then to conceal his windfall from his company and the trading public," said United States Attorney Thomas P. O'Brien.
Karatz, who lives in the Bel Air Estates neighborhood of Los Angeles, agreed in September to pay $7.2 million to settle civil charges of backdating stock options.
Under terms of the settlement, the executive didn't admit or deny the allegations brought by the SEC, which claimed he profited by more than $6 million from exercising many of his stock options