Judge keeps stock options frozen for former UnitedHealth CEO

Bill McGuire of UnitedHealth Group
Bill McGuire, former CEO of UnitedHealth Group.
MPR Photo/Jeff Horwich

The order was set to expire Friday. But U.S. District Court Judge James Rosenbaum in Minneapolis extended it until Dec. 6, or until an outside legal committee issues a report.

UnitedHealth set up that committee in response to investor lawsuits. The committee is considering whether UnitedHealth has any legal claims against McGuire as a result of a stock options backdating scandal.

Last year, an internal report concluded McGuire had likely backdated some of his stock options, prompting his departure from the company.

Backdating involves choosing the effective date of a stock option with the benefit of hindsight.

UnitedHealth says McGuire's stock options were worth about $1.6 billion by the end of 2005. McGuire has since then agreed to reprice some of those options, lowering their value.

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