Apple backdating stock options
All three companies will be forced to restate earnings for the periods in question, which can be a laborious and time-consuming process.It is possible that Apple could face more than a slap on the hand from the SEC, as in some instances, backdating and springloading options can result in criminal charges of fraud."In the SEC statement, it said it would not bring charges against Apple based in part on its swift, extensive and extraordinary cooperation in the commission's investigation," Apple spokesman Steve Dowling said."I don't think they dole these words out lightly." Heinen, 50, did not return a call to her home, but her lawyer said it was unfair to single her out for enforcement action among executives at more than 170 companies swept up in stock option scandals. Heinen engaged in fraud is to misunderstand the facts of what happened," Miles Ehrlich said in a statement."The inquiry has to be: does the person who is getting something understand the legalities of it," Fagel said."There is a big difference between getting a TV off a truck and options accounting." Apple is among dozens of companies under scrutiny for their accounting of stock options granted to executives, including the issue of whether they improperly dated stock options grants to take advantage of a temporary share price decline.Its revenue and share price have both risen dramatically in recent years.
The maker of the Macintosh computer and the i Pod portable music player has attracted a cult-like following for its innovative products.
"Shortly after the Board approved the 7.5 million option grant, Jobs expressed dissatisfaction with its vesting schedule," the complaint said of the period after August 2001.
After a series of discussions between compensation committee members and Jobs, the filing alleges, the options price was set in December 2001 at .30 -- although the stock at the time was trading at .01.
Both Dell and Novell have also recently received delisting notices from NASDAQ after failing to file quarterly 10-Q reports with the SEC.
Those filings, like Apple's, were delayed by investigations into 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.