The Securities and Exchange Commission, Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service are investigating more than 25 companies as to whether they illegally backdated stock option awards to executives to allow them to buy the securities at artificially low prices, thereby increasing the executives' profits when they exercised the options, Bloomberg reports.

In addition, the attorneys general in New York and California have subpoenaed 14 of those companies. All of the firms under investigation are technology or healthcare firms.

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