Former Apple Attorneys Squabble About Options Backdating

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Former Apple General Counsel Nancy Heinen is currently defending herself against Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charges that she illegally backdated stock options. Now, Ms. Heinenis attorneys are seeking the financial records of another former Apple attorney, Wendy Howell, in order to discredit her as a witness, according to Bloomberg News.

The SEC charged Ms. Heinen in April, 2007 and accused her of backdating 7.5 million share option grant to Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Ms. Howell, an attorney hired by Ms. Heinein in 1997, claims she was, in turn, under orders from Heinen to backdate the options. Heinenis attorneys are seeking Howellis financial records to establish that she was under financial pressure at the time which gave a motive to "do anything to keep her job" according to documents filed.

Ms. Howellis attorneys have countered that it is Ms. Heinen who is being investigated, not Ms. Howell, and the financial records of Ms. Howell have no relevance. Moreover, it would be a privacy violation to disclose those records. Ms. Howell was fired by Apple in December 2006.

For reference, the case is SEC v. Heinen, 07-2214, in U.S. District Court in San Jose.

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