(Updates 7th paragraph with company spokesman declining to comment)
By Martha Graybow
NEW YORK, Jan 28 (Reuters) - Former Comverse Technology Inc CMVT.PK Chief Executive Jacob “Kobi” Alexander, who is fighting extradition from Namibia to face U.S. criminal charges, has sued his former company for more than $72 million in severance and other compensation.
The lawsuit follows a case filed by the company accusing Alexander of fraud. Alexander says in his complaint that Comverse refused to live up to its obligations to him after he left the company in 2006, such as allowing him to exercise valuable stock options he received as part of his compensation.
The company “has also refused to honor its other contractual obligations to Alexander, including, but not limited to his right to severance pay, indemnification and advancement of his legal fees, bonuses and fringe benefits,” the lawsuit says.
The contract breaches to Alexander “have caused him damages in excess of $72 million,” the lawsuit contends. The case was filed late on Friday.
Alexander, who founded New York-based Comverse in 1982, is wanted in the United States on several counts in connection with an alleged scheme to back-date millions of executive stock options at the company.
He says he is innocent of the charges, blaming poor advice from his financial and legal advisers. He left the company after it said it was conducting a review of past stock options grants.
A Comverse spokesman, Paul Baker, declined to comment on the lawsuit. An attorney for Alexander was not immediately available.
Earlier this month, the company sued Alexander and former general counsel William Sorin for more than $70 million, also in New York state court.
U.S. prosecutors in Brooklyn previously charged Alexander, Sorin and former Chief Financial Officer David Kreinberg with criminal wrongdoing, saying they reaped millions of dollars in profits by altering the grant dates of option awards from 1998 to 2002.
Sorin was sentenced last May to a year in prison for his role in the scheme. Kreinberg pleaded guilty to conspiracy and securities fraud.
In November, Alexander, who has been living in Namibia, won a delay in his extradition hearing, which is not expected before March. (Editing by Andre Grenon and Maureen Bavdek)