Apple sued by its own shareholders
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.