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SEC probe into Jobs health disclosure continues

updated 09:50 am EDT, Wed July 8, 2009

SEC Jobs probe continues

The Securities and Exchange Commission is continuing with a probe into Steve Jobs' health, Bloomberg sources say. Investigators have been concerned that the company did not properly disclose its CEO's medical condition, which could have and arguably has had an impact on investors. Much of the company's direction is said to be attributable to Jobs, who also serves as the center of intense media focus.

The central issue is said to be the discrepancy between the January 5th disclosure of a "hormonal imbalance," already in treatment, and a January 14th announcement that Jobs would be taking a six-month leave of absence. Compounding confusion has been the June revelation of a liver transplant, which has never been officially acknowledged by Apple and could potentially signify that Jobs' health was far worse than originally stated. If Apple deliberately mislead investors it could face serious repercussions, say lawyers.

A former SEC enforcement attorney, Jahan Raissi, notes that Apple has already put itself in a precarious position. "Once you open your mouth and start to speak on a topic, you have to say something completely truthful," he comments. If the company knowingly withheld or distorted any information that could be material to investors, assertions of Jobs' right to privacy could become irrelevant.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. hayesk

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    Absolutely not material

    Investors that claim they were concerned should have sold their stock when Jobs first announced his leave - that is the point when he stopped leading Apple. What happens when he is on leave is none of their business.

    Not only that, Apple's performance clearly wasn't affected by his leave, given their financial numbers.

  1. cwsmith

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +4

    Conflicting regulations?

    Apple CAN'T disclose under HIPA, but it MUST disclose to the SEC? Damned if they do, damned if they don't.

    If SJ decides that his health is a personal matter (which it is), then it's a personal matter.

  1. VinitaBoy

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +7

    Corruption Personified

    Yeah, yeah, yeah . . . Is this the same SEC that "looked into" Bernie Madoff's operation five separate times over the past decade--AND FOUND NOTHING UNTOWARD WHATSOEVER?!

    This corrupt and/or incompetent agency has no business investigating anyone, anymore, anywhere. We can believe nothing they say or do, and until someone--ANYONE--in that pack of morons goes to jail for financial malfeasance, their operations should be suspended and fully investigated.

    (And this is the same government that's going to be running our automobile sector, our health sector, our energy sector, our banking sector . . . . Oh, my gawd. How I do weep for the future of this country.)

  1. danviento

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +7

    My question is:

    Who is paying off/putting pressure on SEC controllers to go after SJ, actually Apple? It's a petty bone to pick when there are actual scams going on. Reasoning for this assertion was well stated in earlier comments.

    My guess, someone prominent in gov't has a large stake in a competing company, or doesn't like Apple's success in general despite the plunging economy.

    Don't think it's possible? Take a look at all the efforts to prop up freddie-mac and fannie-mae and for what reason? To keep certain individuals' bankrolls coming, and for a failed idea which put the rest of us in the current state of affairs.

    You'll have to pardon my distrust when the feds start to get their claws into areas of finance.

  1. Flying Meat

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +5

    No, no.

    I applaud your distrust. It's healthy and required. The thing is, the feds will always have their claws in areas of finance, one way or another, as part of their job is to protect business opportunity, workers, and the general public well being.

    Sometimes they fail (and some might say often) so we are their oversight. :)

  1. slider

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    This is BS

    Why are investors more important than an individuals right to privacy? This is one of the problems in this country right now. It's government BY the PEOPLE FOR the PEOPLE. Not for making money, not for business or corporations. If you want to invest money in a company to make money then invest in the company, not an individual. I know all the arguments about how SJ is Apple etc., but this should never (true or not) be justification to trump an individuals right. We are so focused on personal gain. We need to get rid of corporate influence on OUR government. Yes, it's ours. Despite the Supreme's Court ruling that change the premise of what a corporation is (a corporation has the same rights as an individual and can thereby lobby it's representatives), this country was set up for flesh and blood PEOPLE (of course it's not really that simple if your a student of history, but it's the ideal we keep preaching - and one IMO that's worth striving for). Besides, who invests in a company based on one individual - a variable that can't be 'controlled'. That's crazy, it be like a car company designing and building their entire business model based on a variable they couldn't control such as gas prices.

  1. LouZer

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    Not BS

    Sorry, folks, you're missing the point of the article (read the third paragraph).

    They aren't investigating the illness or whether investors should have been told. What they are investigating is the fact that they started talking about it in the first place. At the point Steve Jobs sent the 'open letter' about his 'hormone imbalance', he revokes his rights to privacy. Especially since it appears that there was some misleading information going around.

  1. LouZer

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    Oh

    And I recall there was no SEC investigation over his previous illness (the pancreatic cancer). The reason? Again, no one said anything until it was over with, and there he was truthful (at least to what people know).

    You can't mislead if you say nothing. But you can mislead investors if you say something that isn't true. The SEC really doesn't like that.

    Next time (and hopefully there isn't a next time), they'll know to keep their mouths shut and not say anything more than "Steve who? Oh, Jobs. Yeah. I can't talk about it...".

  1. Mrjinglesusa

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    You people don't get it..

    The issue is not Jobs' health. The issue that the SEC is investigating is whether Apple DELIBERATELY MISLED investors when they said it was a "hormone imbalance". If they (Apple) knew it was much more serious, they had to tell the truth. This wouldn't be an issue if Apple kept their mouth shut and simply said, "Mr. Jobs' health is a personal matter and we will not comment on it". Period. The fact that they DID comment on it (saying it is a simple hormone imbalance) opens them up to this investigation. If it turns out they knew it was something worse and they deliberately misled investors they could be held accountable for that.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    Bernie madoff

    Keep in mind the Bernie Madoffs and Lehman Brothers and AIGs were all perpetuated during those wonderful Republican administrations, who feel oversight is just overbearing regulation, and companies should be allowed to self-regulate themselves, because they would NEVER do anything that would be bad for business...

    And then you can go back to when they passed the laws to allow banks to get into all those other business areas (which regulation kept them from doing before) and the relaxations of oversight on banks and their ilks well before that.

    Since the 80's, what are we on, our third or fourth financial 'crisis'?

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