Apple CEO likely to avoid criminal charges in options probe

The San Jose Mercury News reports that Apple CEO Steve Jobs will likely be cleared in the federal investigation of stock options backdating at Apple. “A Mercury News examination of a massive 2001 stock-options grant to Jobs that was backdated through bogus documentation—the central focus of the federal probe—shows there is scant evidence, if any, to support criminal charges against the Silicon Valley icon,” reports the newspaper. “Despite Apple’s disclosure that Jobs approved widespread backdating at Apple, there is no evidence he directed the backdating of his own grant or covered it up afterward, based on a review of regulatory filings and interviews with lawyers intimately familiar with the grant who asked not to be identified. Without such proof, federal prosecutors do not have the type of egregious misconduct they’ve targeted in the blossoming options scandal.”

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