Federal prosecutors are looking closely at whether Apple’s stock-option paperwork was falsified by Apple executives to maximize the profitability of option grants, reports the Recorder’s Justin Scheck, citing people with knowledge of the company’s situation. The anonymous sources told Scheck that the apparently faked documents were revealed in the three-month internal probe conducted by Quinn Emanuel.
The falsification of documents is a key issue for the feds in trying to determine which of the scores of backdating investigations they will ultimately pursue as criminal matters. Said Keith Krakaur of Skadden Arps to the Recorder, speaking generally about the investigations: “When there are falsified documents, the government views them as an intent to defraud, because people generally don’t falsify documents unless they’re trying to make things different from reality.” He added: “They view that as intent.”
Apple released a statement in October that “the investigation raised serious concerns regarding the actions of two former officers in connection with the accounting, recording and reporting of stock option grants.” Scheck cites “individuals with knowledge of the case” who say the two officers are former GC Nancy Heinen and ex-CFO Fred Anderson. Heinen left the company in the spring.