Apple Computeris independent investigation into its improperly handled backdated stock options grants may have cleared CEO Steve Jobs, but that doesnit necessarily mean that he is free from further government investigation. Bloomberg reports that Appleis admission that Mr. Jobs was aware of some of the grant dates may draw the eye of federal investigators.
When Apple reported the findings of its investigation to the Securities and Exchange Commission, it cleared the current management team of any wrong doing, but added that Mr. Jobs was aware of some dates that had been selected for option backdating. Although he was aware, the report said, he did not understand the accounting implications.
Former senior counsel in the SECis enforcement division, Jahan Raissi, commented "The SEC and the Justice Department are not bound by the companyis conclusions. They have far more powerful tools to force people to talk to get information."
Should they go asking, investigators will likely want to know exactly what Mr. Jobs was told in meetings and whether or not received any outside guidance from attorneys.
Former U.S. prosecutor in California, William Portanova, stated "They admitted he knew what was going on and picked the dates. Nobody is out of the woods until the SEC and DOJ say they are out of the woods."
Apple Computer was unavailable for comment, and as a policy does not comment on pending legal matters.
The possibility that Appleis charismatic CEO could potentially face a government investigation, however, doesnit seem to be impacting the companyis stock. Currently, Apple is trading at US$86.20, up 1.15 (1.35%), leading into Mr. Jobsi Macworld Expo keynote presentation on Tuesday.