Apple Settles Backdating Lawsuit for $20.5 Million

Apple has finally settled a four-year-old class-action lawsuit filed by the New York City Employees' Retirement System relating to backdating stock options. The company has been ordered to pay $14 million to shareholders, $2.5 million to fund corporate-governance programs at Columbia and Stanford and an additional $4 million in legal fees.

AppleInsider reports that in December 2000, Steve Jobs approved an options grant for Apple's top executives, but the grant wasn't finalized until January 31. When it was later revealed that the stock options were dated for January 17, Apple was accused of backdating the options.

This is not the first lawsuit relating to the backdating scheme, though. In 2008 Apple settled a similar suit relating to the matter and paid $14 million to Californian shareholders. The company was also subject to a 2007 SEC investigation that saw former CFO Fred Anderson and former general counsel Nancy Heinen charged. The two agreed to a settlement without admitting wrongdoing and were fined and ordered to repay millions of dollars in illegal gains.

Source: Apple Insider, Market Watch

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  • duffymoon
    Sounds like there is a case to answer here - is this a deliberate fraud? Interesting to see that in the US you can buy your way out of an investigation.