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Apple Computer appears to be placing the blame for stock options backdating squarely on former General Counsel Nancy Heinen and ex-Chief Financial Officer Fred Anderson, at least according to the company’s public filings on Friday. Apple’s filings gave a strategically worded explanation of the company’s backdating activities and reaffirmed the company’s complete support of its chief executive and director, Steve Jobs. The documents stated � for the second time in SEC filings this year � its “serious concerns” about the actions of two former officers. Individuals close to the Justice Department probe of the company say those officers are Heinen and Anderson. Heinen stepped down this spring for undisclosed reasons before news of the options scandal broke, and Anderson retired from the company in 2004. The 10K and 10Q filings � the company’s annual report and quarterly earnings report, respectively � and accompanying press release stood firmly behind Jobs, with special investigative committee members Al Gore and Jerome York stating: “The board of directors is confident that the company has corrected the problems that led to the restatement, and it has complete confidence in Steve Jobs and the senior management team.” Yet at the same time, the filings state that Jobs not only knew about backdated option grants, but in some cases “recommended” the practice. They also disclosed that thousands more stock option grants � 6,428 to be exact � were backdated than the company previously acknowledged. In October, the company stated that only 15 grants were suspect. Also, of a total of $105 million in options that the company needed to restate as pre-tax expenses because of backdating, $20 million worth was for Jobs alone. In Friday’s filings, Apple appears to admit that documents were falsified with respect to the granting of one of Jobs’ stock options on Oct. 19, 2001, but finds no one on the current management staff to be responsible. “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.

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