Apple backdating options

Apple said in a statement that it has launched it own internal investigation into the matter after discovering "irregularities related to the issuance of certain stock option grants made between 19." The company said one of the grants was given to Jobs, but later cancelled and resulted in no financial gain for him.

In the company statement, Jobs said Apple was "proactively and transparently disclosing what we have discovered to the SEC." Apple officials didn't immediately return calls seeking further comment.

By launching the probe, Apple becomes perhaps the highest-profile example of dozens of technology companies where the possible backdating of executive option grants have come under scrutiny.

Many firms have received subpoenas, either from the Securities and Exchange Commission or federal prosecutors, asking for information related to such grants.

Anderson’s lawyer Jerome Roth said his client had warned Jobs about an executive stock option grant in January 2001, saying the grant would have to be priced based on the date of the actual Apple board agreement. Jobs that the Board had given its prior approval and the board would verify it,” Roth said in a statement. Jobs and from them concluded the grant was being properly handled.” Apple’s share price briefly dropped nearly 4 percent on the SEC news before recovering to end down 0.3 percent at .24.

But as yet another executive who was once close to Jobs comes under the backdating cloud, one has to wonder: Is Jobs as innocent as Apple Inc. Or is the government afraid to go after one of the most respected leaders of American business? You can put him up there with Bill Gates and Warren Buffett," said Peter Henning, a professor who studies white-collar crime at Wayne State University in Detroit and one of the few legal scholars still paying attention to stock-options backdating.

“Heinen caused Apple to award Jobs 7.5 million in-the-money options, while avoiding reporting approximately .3 million in pre-tax compensation expense,” the filing said.

The SEC said it would not pursue charges against Anderson after he agreed, without admitting or denying the allegations, to pay about .5 million in fines and disgorgement of profit.

Fred Anderson, former chief financial officer of Apple Inc., settled a lawsuit filed by the U. Securities and Exchange Commission related to the company's stock options plan, his attorney said on Tuesday. It said they schemed to backdate over million worth of stock options awarded to Jobs, themselves and other executives. District Court for Northern California said Heinen caused the backdating of stock options and Anderson should have noticed it.

The agency said it would not bring any enforcement action against Apple, but that did not preclude more action against individuals at the company, said an SEC official in San Francisco. It said the false grant dates helped Apple avoid reporting nearly million in expenses and said Heinen had fictitious board notes created regarding the options.

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