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SEC probe expected to target Jobs leave

updated 03:30 pm EST, Fri January 30, 2009

SEC targeting Jobs leave?

The focus of a Securities and Exchange Commission probe into the health of Steve Jobs is likely to concentrate on his sudden leave of absence, a source tells Bloomberg. The departure of the Apple CEO is viewed as sudden, having come just nine days after he admitted to a "hormonal imbalance" with simple if prolonged treatment. SEC efforts are being directed from a San Francisco office, the source says, and will also concentrate on the development of Jobs' diagnoses.

Former SEC chairman Harvey Pitt comments that the problem with Jobs' statements is that in order for both of them to be accurate, something new and critical must have been learned in between. "If he didn't learn anything new in that intervening one-week period," says Pitt, "then the question is why did he make the first statement, and why shouldn't that statement be deemed false?"

A former senior counsel for the SEC, Jahan Raissi, further notes that the disclosures must not have been partial or reckless. Bloomberg, however, observes that plausible excuses may well exist, such as honest misinterpretation of a doctor's opinion. The SEC may also be impeded by legal precedent, which has traditionally safeguarded privacy when it comes to health issues, according to an associate professor of securities law at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, Lisa Casey. While companies are required to reveal data material to investors, nothing specifically requires the announcement of executive medical concerns.

by MacNN Staff



  1. bredlo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    thin ice

    Sounds like the SEC could be on thin ice on this one based on that last paragraph. As important as Jobs is to Apple's success, his private health matters really should be left private.

  1. Eldernorm

    Joined: Dec 1969


    SEC = govt waste

    Where was the SEC while the $50 billion in ponci scam went on?
    Where was the SEC while the Jobs is dead scams went on?
    Where was the SEC while the .... oh just fill in the blanks.... scam went on?

    If they do not want to do their job when its critical, what the heck are they doing now.
    PS. Billions in Bank and WS bonuses being paid from our bailout money. Where was the SEC while the bonuses scam went on?

    Just a thought.

  1. ldrhawke

    Joined: Dec 1969




    Comment buried. Show
  1. TomSawyer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Gimme a break

    Like members of the federal government have never made false or misleading statements to protect their assets. Bill Clinton is a prime example. We know what he got when he lied and mislead...reelected President. Maybe this whole investigation is just a government plot to have Steve Jobs elected our next President?

  1. Roehlstation

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Health issues

    They seem to think it has a lot to do with the fact his leave of absence was "sudden" was far less Sudden than if he had been hit by a least he was able to get his ducks in a row first.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    SEC should investigate

    Come on. Steve Jobs comes out with a statement saying everything is fine and that a simple treatment will make him all better and then a very short time later he's releasing another statement saying he's so sick he can't work. What gives? This sounds like a strategy to slowly get investors used to an Apple without Steve Jobs. However, Apple can't do whatever it wants because its Apple despite what the fanboys say. He would have been better not to saying anything the first time.

  1. slider

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Close one

    Wow, I almost called out sick today. Damn, as if enough isn't going on right now! I could of had the SEC knocking on my door this morning, Whew.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Yes, because we should all live by the "Well, since we screwed up and let x** happen, that should set the precedent and let yyy and zzz happen as well."

    Maybe the SEC is learning from past mistakes. Oh, no, that's right, they're just after Apple.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: thin ice

    Sounds like the SEC could be on thin ice on this one based on that last paragraph. As important as Jobs is to Apple's success, his private health matters really should be left private.

    Not that thin. The whole investigation revolves around the first statement, the "It's not that bad" one. If he just stayed quiet and just made the second announcement, or didn't say anything at all except "For health reasons, I'm taking six months off", there would be no investigation.

    Its the first statement, and the quick turnaround of the second, that leads to the trouble. By saying one thing, then saying another a week later, it makes things look shaky.

    And Steve lost the privacy on his health by making it public with the statement. And if he's got a record that shows they found something new the next week, they produce it, the investigation ends, and that's that.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Oh, you should be happy with the investigation. It will probably (assuming that the first message wasn't determined to be an intentional falsehood) keep Apple from being sued by 14 different groups over this. They just tell the judge "The SEC says we did everything by the book" and dismissed they get.

    BTW, if you recall, Steve took time off back when he had his cancer surgery and recovery. I don't recall any investigation then. Maybe that was because they didn't make any pre-announcements.

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