Apple has agreed to pay a US$16.5 million settlement to the New York City Employees Retirement System in a class action lawsuit the group filed over improperly backdated stock options that had been awarded to some Apple executives.
The settlement includes $14 million for NYCERS shareholders, $2.5 million for corporate governance programs at Columbia Law School and Stanford Law School, and “the establishment of key corporate-governance reforms at the company,” according to MarketWatch. Apple also agreed to pay $4 million in attorney fees independently of the settlement.
Apple found itself in the middle of a Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange investigations in 2006 following the disclosure that some stock option grants had been improperly backdated between 1997 and 2001. Both investigations were eventually resolved leaving Apple’s former general counsel Nancy Heinen facing SEC-related charges.
While the DOJ didn’t file any charges against Apple or its executive team, that didn’t stop several organizations from filing lawsuits against the company over claims that the stock option backdating diluted the value of the shares they had purchased.
The NYCERS settlement is awaiting court approvale which could come as early as Thursday.