Feeds

SEC charges two over Apple options backdating

Ex-CFO hands back $3.5m of gains

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Updated The Securities and Exchange Commision (SEC) today accused Apple's former top lawyer of fraudulently backdating options to under-report company expenses by $40m.

Nancy Heinen is also accused of altering company records to conceal the fraud. She is contesting the charges, the WSJ reports today.

The SEC also filed charges against former CFO Fred Anderson for being asleep on his watch. He should have noticed what Heinen had done, the regulator said. It has already settled with Anderson, who will kiss goodbye to $3.5m worth of option gains. The settlement won't see Anderson admit any wrongdoing.

Anderson will also pay a fine of $150,000 to the government agency, which has been trawling Silicon Valley for foul play in the awarding of options during the tech boom.

Options backdating was a favoured way for tech firms to attract and award talent, particularly in the frothier days of the dot com boom. It referred to the setting of option prices not at the price the day they were granted but at another, typically earlier day, when the price was lower. This gave the option more room to increase in value by the time the execs cashed them in.

The practice is not illegal, as long as the backdating is disclosed to shareholders and the relevant authorities. It was the small matter of informing shareholders that seems to have defeated many leading firms in the information technology industry.

Apple coughed to backdating options earlier this year, offering to make up the shortfall to employees who were affected.®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.