updated 09:40 am EDT, Thu September 20, 2007
Steve Jobs subpoenaed
Apple CEO Steve Jobs has received a subpoena from the US Securities and Exchange Commission, according to two anonymous sources. This is not a part of an investigation, say reports, but rather for deposition in a lawsuit against Apple's former general counsel, Nancy Heinen. The SEC targeted Heinen in late April, accusing her of backdating stock options for Jobs and other Apple executives. Jobs in particular is said to have been given 7.5 million backdated shares, and Apple itself admits that Jobs suggested profitable dates for options other than his own. Heinen's attorneys have requested the presence of 45 people for deposition, with an emphasis on granters and grant recipients.
The SEC has said it will not sue Apple over stock backdating, and will not even confirm whether the company is still being probed other than for the sake of Heinen. Apple's management has steadfastly backed Jobs, meanwhile, insisting that he was ignorant of the accounting problems of backdating. Jobs cancelled his stock grant in 2003, and last year oversaw an $84 million correction of Apple's finances based on all backdated stocks.
Other than Heinen, the only Apple employee to face the SEC has been former CFO Fred Anderson, who settled with the organization at a cost of $3.5 million in stock gains plus a $150,000 fine. Anderson was accused of filing false financial reports, and exercising too little control on accounting practices; he has not, however, admitted or denied any culpability.