Jobs, Apple Execs Hit with Fraud Suit
by , 8:25 AM EDT, July 2nd, 2008
Apple CEO Steve Jobs along with current and former board members have been slapped with a class action law suit over their alleged involvement in the company's backdated stock options incidents. The suit was filed on June 28 and accuses the defendants of committing fraud by falsifying financial statements and concealing millions of dollars in executive compensation, according to Macworld UK.
Along with Mr. Jobs, the people named in the suit include former general counsel Nancy Heinen, former financial officer Fred Anderson, and board members William Campbell, Millard Drexler and Jerome B. York.
According to the plaintiffs, Martin Vogel and Kenneth Mahoney, Mr. Jobs and the other defendants "knew that options were not granted on the dates that were disclosed to shareholders and falsified the company's records to create the appearance of illegality, and thus bear direct responsibility for their actions."
Apple revealed in mid 2006 that it contracted an independent internal investigation that uncovered irregularities in some of the stock option grants issued to company executives between 1997 and 2001. The investigation cleared Mr. Jobs of any wrong doing, and a followup government investigation appeared to have backed up the findings.
Apple's disclosure led to several organizations and individuals claiming that the Cupertino company's actions cost shareholders millions. Others, however, feel the improperly backdated stock incidents ultimately did no harm since Apple's stock has continued to increase in value.
Assuming this class action lawsuit continues, it could mark the first time Mr. Jobs will be compelled to take the stand and publicly testify about his alleged involvement in the backdating scandal.