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The US Justice Department has withdrawn its probe into illegal backdated stock options at Apple, and will not bring charges against Steve Jobs and other executives, according to reports.

Neither Apple nor the DoJ has yet announced the end of the criminal investigation, but attorneys in the case told Reuters and The Wall Street Journal they were notified the probe has been dropped.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission has already ended its inquiry into the matter after charging former chief financial officer Fred Anderson and former General Counsel Nancy Heinen.

Anderson settled with the SEC for $3.5m without admitting wrongdoing, while Heinen denied tampering with Apple's accounts and is still contesting civil charges.

After an internal investigation, Apple claims the rest of its house was unaware of the accounting fraud. Although one of the illegally backdated grants was issued to Jobs, it was subsequently canceled and "resulted in no financial gains to the CEO," according to the company.

Anderson, Heinen, Jobs, and four additional members of Apple's board of directors have also recently been named in a class action lawsuit filed in June 27 by two Apple stockholders. ®

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