Take-Two founder avoids jail

Former CEO Ryan Brant gets five years' probation for stock-option scandal after cooperating with prosecutors.

In February, former Take-Two CEO Ryan Brant pled guilty to first-degree felony charges of falsifying business records for his role in the publisher's stock-option backdating scandal. Today, Bloomberg is reporting that the ex-executive and founder of the company has been sentenced to five years of probation in the case, avoiding time in prison because he cooperated with prosecutors.

Brant left the company in October 2006, while Take-Two was the subject of an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Three months later, Take-Two released the results of its independent investigation into the scandal and pinned the blame squarely on Brant.

The SEC found that from 1997 to 2003, Brant granted stock options to himself and other employees, and altered the records regarding when the options were granted in order to make them instantly profitable to the receiver. As part of his plea deal, Brant agreed to pay $6.3 million to settle the SEC's civil suit against him, and another $1 million to New York state and local authorities. According to Brant's lawyer, the former executive has paid $4.7 million of the $7.3 million total, with the balance due by October 15.

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49 comments
DerekLee688
DerekLee688

Rockstar will be fine. Compare them to Bungie(Halo series). Bungie has put out 2 about to be 3 Halo games and they are fine. Rockstar has put out Max Payne, GTA3, Vice city, Andreas, and many more... When they do put out IV they will sell more than Halo 3 due to multi-platform. I really doubt they have to consider selling to EA because of financial problems.

spdfghr
spdfghr

Didn't get jail...5 years probation? Then T2 can start on H&D3 straight away!!! Come on where's H&D3? Do we have GameSpot unanimous support for H&D3??

can0of0cheese
can0of0cheese

When gta iv goes out it will all work out and everyone will be happy... Until the next scandal that is.

piinshot
piinshot

An educated guess: Take Two and Rockstar will find it very difficult to survive 2008 financially. An offer will come from a big company like EA (my most hated company) to purchase them...for the GTA line...and they will except. And that will spell the begining of the end for decent videogames!

ocdog45
ocdog45

once again coporate american like hte sankes that they are get away with it.

ctg867
ctg867

Take 2 and Rockstar is a complete mess right now. First they let Hot Coffee slip into San Andreas, even though they shouldn't of got all the trouble for it, then they can't argue they're case right on Oblivion getting rated M, then they let the ESRB slap Manhunt 2 with an AO, even though the content is equivalent to an R rated movie, so it should be rated M. And that's only their game related stuff, they've had a handful of internal scandals with stocks, and revenues, and all sorts of crap. No wonder why GTA IV got bumped to Feb 08.

halohelldaddy45
halohelldaddy45

lmao he has money so he gets outta jail. But he isnt a celebrity so he doesnt get out of Probation :D

Keypo
Keypo

summer breeze make you feel fine

tyrant2004
tyrant2004

Jeez, will Take-Two's problems ever end? Every time I turn around, there's something else strange going on with them. I feel sorry for the real developers at that place who just want to make games.

Humorguy_basic
Humorguy_basic

Since when do millionaires ever go to jail? White collar crime at the top seems to be not a crime. But just litter outside the courthouse.......!!!

NemesisLives
NemesisLives

He paid $7.3 million, but probably made $20 million. Sounds good to me.

dynomitemasta
dynomitemasta

Doesn't anybody READ the article?, ok, how about the HEADLINE!!!!? It says AVOIDS JAIL------AVOIDS JAIL------5 years PROBATION!!!!!! Last time i checked, PROBATION isn't JAIL!!!

comthitnuong
comthitnuong

5 years is definitely not easy to do. But maybe even that would probably be light for what he did

---n00b_kid---
---n00b_kid---

why does T2 always make the news for the wrong reasons ?

xJasminex
xJasminex

Take Two is always in trouble. xD

defjam33
defjam33

luckiest bastard in the world today should have gotten jail time

spdfghr
spdfghr

Well Good, he's behind bars! He has ample time to work on Hidden & Dangerous 3, which we have all been waiting for!

ketsuatama
ketsuatama

Same old same old; there is one set of rules for the so-called 'rich" and another for the rest of us. Do you think we would escape the Big House if we were caught with our fingers in the company coffers?

beckoflight
beckoflight

Take 2 has some of the most greatest studios under their wing whats wrong with them & why aren't them looking for appourtunities !????

Pete5506
Pete5506

Ya he has money so he can get off

ColdfireTrilogy
ColdfireTrilogy

man if i would be 1million dollars that i dont have on everytime a CEO or executive that gets out either scat free or almost, i would have like what ... 20 mill? ... and to think we have a great system :P Well i hope hes broke now.

DJSMITH007
DJSMITH007

Meh, Politics...Or something like that.

wild_world_girl
wild_world_girl

Even Paris Hilton had to spend a month in jail (almost) - so are we to assume that felony SEC fraud is a less severe crime than driving without a license? Right.

vaejas
vaejas

He's looking for that "special" someone...

tresdizzle
tresdizzle

I thought the characters in their games were just criminals!

TintedChimes
TintedChimes

This is sick. I want to be rich as well so I can do whatever I can and get away with it!

bigtimegamer413
bigtimegamer413

So this is what the future of videogames hold? Civil lawsuits and and prison terms??? What ever happened to playing games to get the highest scores or completing games in one sitting during a heatwave in your basement? UNBELIEVEABLE!!!!!!!!

Ballistic90
Ballistic90

To tell you the truth, Mechakucha, I'm surprised that you are surprised in the first place. These kinds of things have been going on for a very long time. Those that have money get all the breaks. In fact, Dave Chapelle made a sketch on it once about what it would be like if someone dealing drugs and someone performing this same kind of illegal stock trading had the legal system switched so they could deal with what the other would normally go through. It was really funny, but it made a really strong point at the dichotomy of the legal system.

JuGgAlO_4_LyFe
JuGgAlO_4_LyFe

Cause people in our country are afraid to stand up for what is right. If you knew anything about what the government is really doing behind your back you might want to join some online protest groups. Here's a link to start you off. http://www.truemajorityaction.org/oreos/

Mechakucha
Mechakucha

That's funny. I saw on the news the other night someone who stole $40 worth of food for his family got sentenced to 16 months in prison (with probation on release of course) and this guy walks. What the **** is wrong with our country? Why do we allow this?

paranoiasurviva
paranoiasurviva

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

iceuk
iceuk

They should make this into a game :P

RiseFM
RiseFM

Grand Theft Stock Options

grasvlieg
grasvlieg

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

darthzew
darthzew

Don't you just love corporate scandles?

Cerza
Cerza

I agree with you completely caesarbites. All you need is enough money and you can get away with anything.

lamprey263
lamprey263

meh, I don't really care, just as long as they're publishing kickass games.

SCboy79S
SCboy79S

I see, it's the "Tommy Vercetti is an innocent man." defense and then they let you go.

grasvlieg
grasvlieg

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

AnFangs_Endes
AnFangs_Endes

@axia_777: That's where you are wrong, T2 is the parent company of R*

axia_777
axia_777

Lets us all remember that these are Take-Two's problems, not RockStars.

caesarbites
caesarbites

The only thing in this whole world that can save criminals from going to jail is if said criminal has money. Sure, Paris Hilton did jail time, but only after she broke about 2000 laws. So, remember kids: If you don't want to do jail time for your illegal and ridiculous business practices, then just make sure you can buy your way out of it.