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Criminal Probe of Apple Options Is Ended

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| The Justice Department has ended its criminal investigation of backdated
| stock options at Apple Inc., deciding not to bring charges against the
| company or several current and former executives it had been probing for two
| years, people familiar with the case said.
| A spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office in San Francisco, which was
| handling the case, declined to comment. An Apple spokesman also declined to
| comment.



Apple sued again over backdating scandal

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| The reason behind the class-action suit is a drop in stock value a while back
| when Apple admitted it was looking into allegations of backdated grants.
| Backdating stock or options, whereby the company gives an employee stock
| options dated before the actual date the option was issued, is not actually
| illegal if done, um, legally - one of those tricky, sneaky lawyering
| loopholes we understand. What is illegal, is not properly declaring them, and
| Apple was obviously so busy working on its Iphone that it must have
| forgotten.



Options troubles aren't over for Apple

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| But one of the accused -- former Chief Financial Officer Fred Anderson --
| pointed a finger at his former boss, Steve Jobs, raising new accusations
| that experts say could land Jobs in some legal hot water if true.
| [...]
| Gene Munster, a financial analyst at Piper Jaffray, said Anderson's
| accusations will fuel investors' worries over Jobs and his critical role in
| Apple's continued success.
| "It gives the appearance that, 'I had a partner in crime and it was Steve
| Jobs,'" Munster said.


Microsoft's past stock options practice poses questions

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| Microsoft in 1999 announced that it would end a policy of awarding
| options at monthly lows and said it would take a $217 million charge,
| though many details of that discontinued practice haven't been widely
| known, The Wall Street Journal said Friday.
| Those details raise questions about how Microsoft began the practice,
| what prompted the company to end it and whether the way the options
| were dated--at 30-day lows the month after they were
| granted--influenced other companies, it said.


SEC plans to file lawsuit against former Apple lawyer, settles with former
CFO in options case

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| The U.S. attorney's office also is investigating Apple for the accounting
| shenanigans but declined to comment Monday about the status of its case.

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