We had to do a double take on this because it is from Bloomberg and it might be another UAL going into bankruptcy again type of repeat story (or maybe a Steve Jobs obit).  But apparently it is true.  Like the proverbial <insert your favorite STD here>, the options dating scandle keeps coming back to Apple.  This time it is very focused on Dear Leader, Steve Jobs.

Jobs  "was at the center of the backdating scheme,” according to the suit, which claims Apple’s board went "out of its way to shield Jobs from any responsibility.”

While that is scary, you have to wonder about the motives of these "shareholders."  Getting Steve Jobs in trouble isn’t going to be doing much for their shareholder value.  More likely, these <insert your favorite STD here> are trying to get another payout from Apple.  Previous inquiries have ?forced former Chief Financial Officer Fred D. Anderson and former general counsel Nancy R. Heinen into resignation and SEC settlements….

 

Filed under seal in Santa Clara County Superior Court in San Jose, California, the case is "similar but not identical” to other so-called derivative lawsuits, said H. Adam Prussin, a lawyer representing shareholders. An Amended complaint was filed Sept. 5 by investors on behalf of Apple against its directors and officers for breach of corporate duties.

"We have details about the transactions involved that I don’t think anyone else has,” Prussin said in a phone interview. “We know who did what to whom and when. Plaintiffs in the other cases did not do an examination of books and records,” he said, declining to explain what the records contain.

…..

Apple’s language in its 2006 annual report to describe the backdating is “vague and shifting,” according to the complaint filed by Prussin on behalf of the Boston Retirement Board. Its “cryptic allusion, almost in passing, of Jobs’ `awareness’ of and `recommendations’ concerning option grant dates are obfuscations,” according to the suit.

“Rather than blame Jobs and or other members of current management, Apple has tried to shift all the blame to two former employees, former Chief Financial Officer Fred D. Anderson and former general counsel Nancy R. Heinen,” according to the complaint.

On one hand, it is difficult to believe that anything at Apple goes on without Jobs’ knowledge; it seems this has been settled by the SEC from a criminal standpoint and civil standpoint by previous shareholder settlements.  Is this a case of lawyers just going back to the bank?  (Like Kareem Abdul Jabar’s hook shot).  If so, what can Apple do to block further suits?

About the Author