updated 11:00 pm EDT, Tue April 24, 2007
SEC: no case against Apple
Despite finger pointing by Apple's CFO Fred Anderson, the SEC today said that it would not file an enforcement action against Apple in connection with the agency's stock-options dating investigation. Following public claims that Apple's chief executive knew about backdated stock options, the SEC said that Apple's "extraordinary" cooperation has won it points with the US regulatory agency and that the SEC will not seek formal action the Cupertino-based company, after the SEC filed two civil lawsuits against former Apple executives and agreed to a $3.5 million settlement with Anderson. Earlier this week, reports indicated that Jobs would likely avoid criminal charges in connection with the option scandal.
"Apple's cooperation consisted of, among other things, prompt self-reporting, an independent internal investigation, the sharing of the results of that investigation with the government, and the implementation of new controls designed to prevent the recurrence of fraudulent conduct," the SEC said in a public statement.
"Apple's shareholders relied on Heinen and Anderson, as respected legal and accounting professionals, to ensure the accurate reporting of the company's executive compensation. Instead, they failed in their duties as gatekeepers and caused Apple to conceal millions of dollars in stock option expenses," said Marc J. Fagel, Associate Regional Director of the SEC's San Francisco Regional Office.
Apple last year took an $84 million charge related to its option backdating scandal.