Feds Consider Criminal Charges in Apple Backdating Case

Federal prosecutors investigating improper stock grant backdating at Apple Inc. are seriously considering filing criminal charges against former company executives. The move extends beyond Apple, and includes executives that used to work for other technology companies, including McAfee, KLA-Tencor Corp., and DRS Technologies, according to the Wall Street Journal.

U.S. attorneys and the Securities and Exchange Commission launched investigations into the stock option grant process at Apple after the Mac and iPod maker revealed that an independent internal investigation uncovered several incidents of improperly backdated grants. The internal investigation suggested that former company executives were involved, but cleared the current management team, including CEO Steve Jobs.

Information on exactly which former Apple executives Federal prosecutors may be focusing on has not been released. Based on statements made to investigators, however, many are speculating that former general counsel Nancy Heinen and former CFO Fred Anderson face charges.

Apple stock is trading at US$85 in the pre-market, down 0.21 (0.25%).

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