It was the pseudo-scandal launched by the Wall Street Journal's investigative unit, after its reporters began following up on an academic report that demonstrated many executive stock options awards were too well-timed to be plausible.
That means the company incurs an expense equal to the difference in the share price between the two dates.
After all, stock option backdating is all the rage these days.
You'd think they'd be up to their eyeballs in rope.
No one's pay was "inflated" by backdating, unless you assume that the alternative would have been awarding executives exactly the same number of options at less-advantageous prices.
Which, of course, you shouldn't assume since any sensible employee can see that if his each stock option is worth less, he should get more of them.