Former Broadcom CEO in drug scandal

Broadcom CEO Henry Nicholas

TEXT OF STORY

Scott Jagow: Stock option backdating cases aren't usually titillating. Except this latest one. The former CEO of Broadcom -- it's a computer chip maker -- is accused of backdating and costing his company a fortune. But beyond that, what a piece of work this guy is. Nancy Marshall Genzer explains.


Nancy Marshall Genzer: No one matches the description of "high flyer" better than Henry Nicholas. According to indictments unsealed yesterday, in 2001, Nicholas smoked so much marijuana during a flight on one of his private jets, the pilot had to put on an oxygen mask.

Prosecutors say this Nicholas was no saint. They claim he stashed drugs in a warehouse. Ever think a CEO might have been on drugs when he made a dumb deal? Well, maybe so. Prosecutors accuse Nicholas of slipping drugs into business associates' drinks without their knowledge.

University of Richmond law professor Carl Tobias says the prosecutors' drug charges came as a surprise, but:

Carl Tobias: They wanted to have as many charges made against him and hopefully force him to cut a plea deal.

Nicholas's attorney says he's innocent. Nicholas, who was nicknamed Darth Vader because of his competitiveness, is expected to fight the charges.

In Washington, I'm Nancy Marshall Genzer for Marketplace.

About the author

Nancy Marshall-Genzer is a senior reporter for Marketplace based in Washington, D.C. covering daily news.

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