UPDATE 1-Drug charge dismissed against Broadcom’s Nicholas

* Drug case against ex-CEO Nicholas dismissed

* Guilty plea against ex-HR executive Tullos set aside
(Adds U.S. Attorney’s comment)

LOS ANGELES, Jan 28 (BestGrowthStock) – A California judge who last
year derailed government stock option backdating cases against
three Broadcom Corp (BRCM.O: ) executives dismissed a
drug case against co-founder and former Chief Executive Henry
Nicholas III on Thursday and set aside a fourth executive’s
guilty plea.

U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney cleared Nicholas, 50, of
all pending criminal charges, and threw out a 2007 guilty plea
by former human resources executive Nancy Tullos, who was
cooperating with prosecutors against her former colleagues.

Carney had previously set aside Broadcom co-founder Henry
Samueli’s guilty plea and threw out backdating cases against
Nicholas and former Chief Financial Officer William Ruehle.

In throwing out the cases, Carney cited witness
intimidation by prosecutors and doubts that the executives
intended to violate complex accounting rules on backdating,
which is legal when the expense is recorded in company books.

Prosecutors had asked Carney to dismiss the drugs case, but
they are mulling an appeal of the judge’s dismissal of
backdating-related fraud charges against Nicholas and Samueli.

Nicholas, who faced allegations that he distributed
cocaine, ecstasy and methamphetamine at parties at his Southern
California and Las Vegas homes and a California warehouse, said
his faith in the justice system had been “admittedly tested but
ultimately reaffirmed” by his ordeal.

“At this juncture I would simply like to thank all of the
many people who stood by me, and never doubted me, during these
last several years,” Nicholas said in a statement.

U.S. Attorney spokesman Thom Mrozek said prosecutors
“disagree with the judge’s rulings that dismissed the charges
related to stock-option backdating at Broadcom” and are
discussing their options.

Stock options backdating at the Irvine, California-based
chipmaker led to a $2.2 billion restatement in 2007. Ruehle and
Nicholas were accused of hiding the compensation expenses and
profiting from backdating proceeds, charges that both denied.

They each faced life in prison if convicted.

The case is USA v. Henry T. Nicholas, Case No. 08-140, U.S.
District Court for the Central District of California, Santa
Ana.
(Reporting by Gina Keating; Editing by Steve Orlofsky, Gary
Hill)

UPDATE 1-Drug charge dismissed against Broadcom’s Nicholas