A U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into a false report that Apple CEO Steve Jobs had a heart attack has been focusing on an 18 year old boy. The teen posted the rumor on CNNis iReport Web site and sent Appleis market value down by some US$4.8 billion in an hour, according to Bloomberg.
The SEC has yet to determine the teenis motive behind the rumor, but at this point it doesnit appear that he was attempting to manipulate Appleis stock value for personal gain.
The bogus report about Mr. Jobsis health appeared on the iReport Web site on the morning of October 3. iReport is CNNis Web site where readers can post their own unverified news stories.
The report said in part "Steve Jobs was rushed to the ER just a few hours ago after suffering a major heart attack. I have an insider who tells me that paramedics were called after Steve claimed to be suffering from severe chest pains and shortness of breath."
Apple representatives publicly denied the heart attack rumor shortly after it surfaced which helped its stock stabilize and begin the slow climb back up to its opening position for the day.
If the SEC determines that the teenis actions werenit intended to manipulate Appleis stock value, it may not have jurisdiction to file charges. That does not, however, preclude other government agencies from pursuing criminal or civil charges in the case.