Steve Jobs questioned by feds over stock fraud

In the latest chapter of Apple’s stock option backdating scandal, the company’s CEO Steve Jobs has been questioned by U.S. federal investigators. Jobs was accused last year of receiving 7.5 million backdated stock options in 2001 without prior authorization from Apple’s board. Company records were then falsified to say a meeting to approve the grants had taken place when none actually had.

An internal Apple investigation said Jobs didn’t personally benefit from the stock option grants, but later reports contradicted those claims. Filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission showed that in 2003, Jobs exchanged the stock options for five million Apple shares then worth $75 million. Jobs couldn’t actually sell the shares until he had remained at Apple for three additional years, but he sold nearly half the shares as soon as he could in March 2006, pocketing a cool $295.7 million. Apple is currently under investigation by both the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission over its stock option practices.

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