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Jobs likely to avoid criminal charges

updated 11:15 am EDT, Mon April 23, 2007

Jobs to avoid charges

Apple boss Steve Jobs -- who is considered the company's backbone and driving force -- is likely to avoid criminal charges in the federal investigation of illegal stock options backdating, according to one report. A Mercury News examination of the backdated 2001 stock-options grant to Jobs, which was achieved via falsified documentation, is the focus of the federal investigation but reveals little evidence that points to criminal charges against the executive. The investigation has so far revealed no evidence that Jobs directed the illegal backdating of his own grant or worked to cover it up, according to lawyers familiar with the grant who asked to remain anonymous. As a result, federal prosecutors lack the type of egregious misconduct necessary to incriminate Jobs in the ongoing investigation, according to the report.

A close review of the events which led to the grant in question revealed that the backdating was likely a clumsy attempt by Apple's board to reward Jobs for bringing the company back to its feet.

"When you start thinking about lying, cheating and stealing, there's a mental state that you know what you're doing is wrong," said former San Francisco-based federal prosecutor Jeffrey Bornstein, who is not involved in the Apple case. "If you don't appreciate that, it's very difficult for the government to show that you're a criminal."

Prosecutors face a difficult road if they are to base a securities fraud case against Apple's CEO on the backdating of his own grant, primarily because that grant was approved by Apple's board, not Jobs, legal experts who are familiar with the grant say.

"Jobs can take the defense, 'What do I know about the proper accounting for this transaction? I didn't keep a secret from anybody and assumed the accounting would be proper,'" said Stanford law professor and former SEC commissioner Joseph Grundfest. "That would seem to distinguish the Apple situation."

by MacNN Staff





  1. hokizpokis

    Joined: Dec 1969



    sometimes i think macnn is not what it appears to be...

    since this article aproaches 'slander' and 'no new news exists about it'; why is macnn keep bringing this up every few weeks...

    a fake witch hunt perhaps??

    ...each article always says Jobs is the victim of Apples board of directors mistake and Jobs makes a $1 salary...

    sour grapes??

  1. petsounds

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: odd

    Well, it's of some concern to investors. AAPL is up 2% so far this morning; I imagine this report had something to do with it.

    I'm not sure how you consider this article "slander". It's pretty straightforward reporting.

  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969


    jobs avoids?

    From the earliest reportings of the stock options issue there has been little or no suggestion of impropriety on the part of Jobs himself, he has not therefore "avoided" anything. To use a motoring metaphor, he wasn't even on the same street. I agree with hokizpokis in relation to questions about MacNN's "true" nature.

  1. manleycreative

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Slander is spokenů

    In print it's "Liable."

  1. msuper69

    Joined: Dec 1969



    No, it's 'libel'.

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