Tuesday, April 24, 2007

SEC Won't Sue Apple Over Backdating of Stock Options

April 24 (Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. won't be sanctioned by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for backdating stock options, including some to Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs, because it cooperated with regulatory probes.
The SEC credited Apple today for ``swift, extensive, and extraordinary cooperation,'' while announcing lawsuits against two former top executives. Sheila O'Callaghan, an SEC enforcement official overseeing the case, declined to comment on whether the regulator may later sue Jobs.
Apple, maker of the iPod music player, is the largest company to have current or former executives targeted in an SEC lawsuit alleging the manipulation of stock options to boost their value. The company said in December 6,428 option grants between 1997 and 2002 were backdated, including one to Jobs marked as approved at a board meeting that never occurred.
Former Apple General Counsel Nancy Heinen will fight the SEC's civil lawsuit filed against her today in San Francisco, her lawyers said. The SEC settled with former Chief Financial Officer Fred Anderson. He agreed to forfeit $3.5 million and pay a $150,000 fine to resolve claims he filed false financial reports and had inadequate accounting controls at the Cupertino, California-based company.

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