updated 09:55 pm EST, Tue November 20, 2007
Refile AAPL options claims
While one shareholder lawsuit was already dropped, a California judge gave leave to attorneys to refile some of the claims, while dismissing others because of timeliness. In June 2006, Apple shareholders filed a lawsuit claiming that company directors and officers, including Chief Executive Steve Jobs, committed fraud when they backdated some awards made between 1997 and 2001 in order to maximize compensation payouts. According to the report, shareholders were seeking return of all proceeds from the backdated options. Following the ruling, lead plaintiffs' attorney Mark Molumphy said Tuesday he intends to refile the case focusing on issues the judge identified.
The Associated Press says that Judge Jeremy Fogel of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ruled Monday that claims alleging fraud in some proxy statements were filed after the federal statute of limitations had expired, but gave plaintiffs an option to amend their complaint to change their arguments. In addition, Judge Fogel ruled that the lawsuit raised some valid arguments but said its claims against Jobs and other officers did not contain enough detail.
The previously dismissed shareholder lawsuit against Apple was seeking damages as a result of the Cupertino-based company's recent stock options scandal; the lawsuit, which was dismissed in a San Jose District court last week, charged that Apple's CEO Steve Jobs and other executives were overpaid via illegally backdated stock option grants. The judge dismissed the case because Apple's stock price did not drop after the backdating was revealed.