Apple sued by its own shareholders

— 1:30 PM on August 22, 2006

In the latest event surrounding Apple's stock option woes, shareholders have filed a lawsuit against the company. According to the shareholders' filing, Apple CEO Steve Jobs and other executives filed "false and misleading" financial statements with the Securities and Exchange Commission and unlawfully pocketed millions of dollars by changing option-grant dates. This so-called option "backdating" practice involves granting stock options when share prices are low in order to guarantee a profit for stockholders. Stock option backdating can be considered fraud if it is kept secret, which is what the Apple shareholders who filed the suit claim Jobs and other Apple execs did.

Apple's statement about the option "irregularities" two months ago said only one of the grants was to Jobs and that it was later cancelled, resulting in no financial gain. Apple also said it was "proactively and transparently disclosing" its findings to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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