The former general counsel at Apple, Nancy Heinen, agreed to settle civil charges with the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding her involvement in planning and issuing backdated stock options while at the company. She will pay $2.2 million, but neither admit nor deny wrongdoing.
Heinen, along with former chief financial officer Fred Anderson, were sued by the SEC in April 2007 for their involvement with how certain grants of stock options were handled. The agency said Heinen created minutes for a board meeting that never occurred after the date on which it was alleged to have happened, as well as moved back the dates on which options were granted without properly recording or acknowledging either of those changes. Anderson settled immediately, also without admitting or denying any incorrect behavior.
In December 2006, Apple released a report that essentially agreed that there were irregularities in stock option grants, raised “serious concerns regarding the actions of two former officers,” and revised its past years’ earning statements to include the hidden cost of the backdated grants. The Justice Department ended its criminal investigation into Apple’s backdating in July 2008.
You can read the long, involved history in our series, “Apple’s Trouble with Backdated Stock Options.”