Apple CEO Steve Jobs questioned in options backdating probe

“Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs was questioned by government investigators leading the U.S. probe into backdated stock options grants at the company, lawyers familiar with the matter said,” Karen Gullo and Connie Guglielmo report for Bloomberg.

Gullo and Guglielmo report, “Jobs met with officials from the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Justice Department last week in San Francisco, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the interviews are confidential. Apple said last month an internal review found ‘no misconduct’ by Jobs or current management.”

“The meeting, which took place the same week Apple announced record sales of its best-selling iPod music player, shows the U.S. government is still seeking information about Jobs’s role in the backdating even after the company’s report clearing him and others, said Nell Minow, editor at the Corporate Library, a corporate governance research firm in Portland, Maine,” Gullo and Guglielmo report. ‘It is after all the SEC’s view on his culpability that matters, not the internal investigation at Apple,’ Minow said.”

“The people wouldn’t disclose specifics about what Jobs was asked, what he told investigators and whether there would be additional meetings,” Gullo and Guglielmo report. “Mark Pomerantz, an attorney for Jobs, declined to comment. Luke Macaulay, a spokesman for U.S. Attorney Kevin Ryan, whose office is investigating Apple, declined to comment, as did SEC spokesman John Nester in Washington.”

More details in the full article here.

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30 Comments

  1. AAPL gapped lower this morning, primarily on this news. However, AAPL reversed its decline and rose as the broader market rallied. Since then, in early trading, AAPL has slipped back in the red, currently trading around $86.14.

    If AAPL can hold in the $85-$90 range, we should see a technical-driven bounce, given that the stock has fallen by ~10% since January 15th.

  2. ron, no this news story is quite significant. It reminds people that the stock options investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Justice Department is still underway and has not been resolved.

    The operative line in the news story is:

    ‘It is after all the SEC’s view on his culpability that matters, not the internal investigation at Apple,’

  3. If Jobs broke the law he should fry. Just because he’s a popular CEO doesn’t mean he should get special treatement.

    Maybe his arrogance has finally caught up to him. I’d like to see him go to jail if he was involved with the option backdating scandal.

  4. upholdthelaw:

    Right on. If he breaks the law, he should get the same treatment as everybody else. It doesn’t matter if he has helped AAPL increase in value.

    Pay the Piper:

    Heh.

    Greg:

    That’s not what you should be worried about. You should be worried that a company you’re invested in may be condoning and covering up (the report clearing Jobs??) illegal behavior.

    Ron:

    The news is that the SEC isn’t biting on Apple’s sham investigation. Imagine if the situation were altered slightly. Do you think the SEC would have accepted the results of Enron’s internal investigation clearing Lay? I think not. Not to imply that Jobs = Lay, but don’t let the fact that you love the company influence your judgment.

  5. If the Great One wiggles out of this, it will be because there’s just enough doubt to cause the prosecutors to believe they can’t win. There’s no question about Steve’s responsibility – he’s the CEO and gets both credit he has not earned and blame he may not fully deserve – although it staggers the imagination to believe he didn’t know what was going on with rather extensive and illegal manipulation of corporate records.

  6. Jim Cramer (famous for his stock calls on his radio show and CNBC’s MadMoney television program) is saying that now is a good time to buy AAPL, because the selling in the stock is now done.

    AAPL is trading at $87.12.

  7. Pay the Pipper:
    It sounds like you know all about being in jail. Are you speaking from your own experiences? Or are you just daydreaming about your own guilty little pleasures. A deviant little shit like you just has to be one of the MS fanboy trolls. Why don’t you go crawl back up Steve Ballmer’s pooper where you came from and play with his Zune collection.

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