NEW YORK – A former top executive of the company that runs the Monster job search Web site was rewarded for cooperating in a backdated stock option probe with a sentence of no jail time Tuesday by a judge who said he was troubled that so many companies cheated.

U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff said Myron Olesnyckyj, a former Monster Worldwide Inc. vice president, can serve a year of probation rather than prison time because he helped investigators learn the extent of the fraud. He also ordered him to forfeit $381,000, representing the amount he illegally gained, and pay a $6,000 fine. The judge said he found it “troubling that backdating stock options and the accounting fraud that it generated were seemingly so widespread in corporate America.”

He said the worst fears of people “that greed and manipulation will triumph” in corporate America over playing it straight were realized in the scandal.

“Stripped to its essence, it was high-level executives seeking to line their pockets by telling lies and covering up those lies with accounting fraud,” Rakoff said.