Read The Recorder‘s roundup of the stock-option backdating scandal. There won’t be a test later … but there might be a subpoena.
“The approval for the grant was improperly recorded as occurring at a special Board meeting on October 19, 2001,” the filings state. “Such a special Board meeting did not occur. There was no evidence, however, that any current member of management was aware of this irregularity.”
An attorney for the firm that’s been designated lead counsel for all the shareholder derivative complaints against Apple found Friday’s disclosures “explosive,” particularly the information about Jobs’ option grant being approved at a meeting that never took place.
“Based on what was disclosed today, we will likely move to amend our complaint,” said Mark Molumphy, a partner at Cotchett, Pitre, Simon & McCarthy. “This is now a cover-up case.”
Molumphy said the filing raised more questions than it answered and seemed to send a mixed message about Jobs’ involvement. “Apple appears to concede that Jobs was right in the middle of backdating, though they’re still very cryptic about what his involvement was,” he said.
“It’s clear that the press release and the public filings today were primarily aimed at shielding Jobs from responsibility for the backdating at Apple, and likely because the market is looking for one thing only � that’s whether Jobs is going to stay at Apple. He’s in a position of such control and influence at the company, both based on his involvement in the public persona of the company as well as the constitution and management of the board of directors, that it would be seen as a major concern if the face of Apple is leaving.”
Apple spokesman Steve Dowling could not be reached for comment Friday.
In a possible dig at Heinen, the filings state that certification of the approval of stock option grants was a duty of the company’s legal staff, but states that approval dates for many of the grants were “not available.” No further explanation for that error is offered.
Heinen’s attorneys, Cristina Arguedas of Arguedas, Cassman & Headley, and Miles Ehrlich of Ramsey & Ehrlich, could not be reached for comment Friday.
Anderson’s attorney, Jerome Roth of Munger, Tolles & Olson, told the Wall Street Journal his client “did not play any day-to-day role in the granting, reporting and accounting of stock options, and he was not involved in any knowing manipulation of the process.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.