New Class Action Suit Filed Over Stock Options

The law firm of Stull, Stull & Brody on Friday said that it has filed a class action lawsuit against Apple on behalf of shareholders who purchased the companyis stock and/or put options between Dec. 1, 2005 and Aug. 11, 2006.

The first two lawsuits against Apple over the stock option backdating irregularities it has admitted to were filed in early July. Another suit was filed at the beginning of August.

The firm explained in a press release: "The Complaint charges that Apple and certain of its officers and directors violated Sections 10(b), 14(a) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rules 10-b(5) and 14a-9 promulgated thereunder. The action alleges that defendants made false and misleading statements and omissions concerning Appleis improper and undisclosed practice of backdating options conferred on certain executives which made it appear that such options were issued on dates when the market price of Apple stock was higher than actual market price on the actual grant dates.

"This improper backdating masked the virtually instant profits the option recipients obtained. Under generally accepted accounting principles, these profits were required to be recognized as an expense in the Companyis financial statements for the appropriate period, but were not. Thus, the Companyis financial statements in its Form 10-K filing for the fiscal year 2005 and interim financial statements for 2005 and 2006 were materially false and misleading.

"In addition, the Companyis Proxy Statement for its annual shareholder meeting held in 2006 was materially false and misleading because it contained statements concealing Appleis practice of backdating stock options. The Complaint further alleges that as a result of defendantsi actions, plaintiffs and the Class were damaged."

Anyone interested in contacting the firm regarding the lawsuit can do so through the contact information on its Web site. The New York office is handling the matter.