Page last updated at 06:41 GMT, Friday, 15 August 2008 07:41 UK

Ex-Apple lawyer in options deal

Apple iPod
Apple and other technology firms have been probed over stock options

The former top lawyer at Apple has agreed to pay $2.2m (1.1m) to settle charges over stock options.

Nancy Heinen was charged with changing records to hide illegally backdated stock options granted to Apple bosses, including chief executive Steve Jobs.

Ms Heinen neither admitted nor denied wrongdoing in settling the charges. Apple did not comment on the deal.

Apple is one of a number of firms to have been probed for backdating stock options to executives.

Incentive

The US financial watchdog, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), said Apple had underestimated its expenses by some $40m because of the backdating.

The SEC alleged that Ms Heinen fraudulently allocated 4.8 million options to Apple's executive team in February 2001 and 7.5 million options to Mr Jobs in December that year.

As part of the settlement, Ms Heinen also agreed to a five-year ban against serving as an officer or director of a public company.

Apple has not faced any charges, after agreeing to co-operate in the probe.

Fred Anderson, Apple's ex chief financial officer, was also charged by the financial watchdog in April 2007 and agreed to a $3.5m settlement without acknowledging any wrongdoing.

Backdating is not illegal per se provided the practice is made clear in company accounts, otherwise there is the risk that profits can be overstated.

Stock options were often offered to employees during the dotcom boom as an incentive.




SEE ALSO
Apple options probe reaches court
24 Apr 07 |  Business
Apple reveals stock option errors
29 Dec 06 |  Business
Apple shares hit ahead of figures
28 Dec 06 |  Business

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