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Apple Execs Reportedly Faked Options Documents

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the hands-in-the-cookie-jar dept.

The Almighty Buck 172

theodp writes "Federal prosecutors are reportedly looking closely at stock option administration documents that were apparently falsified by Apple execs to maximize the profitability of option grants. While Apple has said CEO Steve Jobs did not profit from the stock-option backdating, Jobs has reportedly hired his own attorney to deal with the SEC and Justice Department."

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Oops! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17381310)

Oops!

Re:Oops! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17381698)

No, no, no.

Steve Jobs is a very integrative, honest person and would never do something as bad. After all, Apple's slogan is "Do no evil."

WORRIED FANBOIS BEG JOBS TO SUCK HIS WITHERED COCK (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17381710)

In a gesture of comfort, Apple apologists, mouths open and drooling, rush to Cupertino, CA in a bid to suck Jobs's withered cock. They are beat though. In a fag frenzy, CmdrTaco drives his wrecked Ford Festiva 1800 miles from Michigan and gets there first. He gladly swallows Jobs's 2-inch pecker.

yay, another company who's CEO's rob shareholders (0, Flamebait)

huckda (398277) | more than 7 years ago | (#17381340)

this seems to be so commonplace now days it's pathetic...
and Apple who always got stolen from of all people.

Re:yay, another company who's CEO's rob shareholde (1)

Divebus (860563) | more than 7 years ago | (#17381576)

"...and Apple who always got stolen from of all people."

Oh, sure, NOW the Government is looking!

Re:yay, another company who's CEO's rob shareholde (1)

huckda (398277) | more than 7 years ago | (#17382306)

likely since the Government has all of their eggs in the Microsoft basket...

Re:yay, another company who's CEO's rob shareholde (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17381598)

Eh? The accusations are that Apple followed what were believed to be legitimate and standard accounting practices at the time. I do not think a headline a case makes. Who exactly got robbed?

Re:yay, another company who's CEO's rob shareholde (2, Insightful)

mrbooze (49713) | more than 7 years ago | (#17382062)

Backdating options is a legitimate accounting practice? It's never been allowed at any of the places I worked, where more than once I had options issued shortly after a huge aberrant stock spike and thus my option price was set so high that it never became profitable. I would have *loved* to have had them backdated, but had understood it was illegal to do so.

Re:yay, another company who's CEO's rob shareholde (4, Informative)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 7 years ago | (#17382250)

'' Backdating options is a legitimate accounting practice? It's never been allowed at any of the places I worked, where more than once I had options issued shortly after a huge aberrant stock spike and thus my option price was set so high that it never became profitable. I would have *loved* to have had them backdated, but had understood it was illegal to do so. ''

A company can give you any number of stock options it wishes, at any strike price it wishes. If the strike price is equal to the share price on the day the options are granted, the company does not have to pay any taxes on the grant. If the strike price is lower, then this is treated as if the company had given you cash, so you have to pay income tax, and the company has to register the difference as a loss. So it was always legal for the company to give you options at the share price at an earlier date, but YOU would have to pay income tax for it.

What is NOT legal is to modify the grant date and so hide the fact that taxes need to be paid.

Re:yay, another company who's CEO's rob shareholde (1)

mrbooze (49713) | more than 7 years ago | (#17382340)

Aha, thanks for the explanation. That's a much better explanation than I ever got from the plan administrators for some reason.

Re:yay, another company who's CEO's rob shareholde (1, Troll)

baldass_newbie (136609) | more than 7 years ago | (#17382088)

Actually, this was the case with a lot of the 'corruption' cases that sprang up.
Clinton's Justice Department was noticably lackadaisical about prosecuting or enforcing certain accounting standards (depends on what your definition of 'profit' is, I guess.)
Anyway, when Bush comes into office, with a business background, 'fudging the numbers' is not cool. You either made a profit or you didn't, regardless of what shell offshore companies you bought.

I have always found it curious that on Bush's watch all of these corrupt companies were brought to Justice (especially since Enron had Bush in their pocket, what with them hiring a Clinton official as spokesman [washingtonpost.com] ) and yet Bush is tagged with fostering this corruption.
I guess you can fool most of the people most of the time.

I don't think Apple did anything other than do what they thought they could get away with (i.e. what everyone else was doing.) Besides, it's not like the rules for Exec Comp valuation don't change every other year (google 'Black Scholes Option Valuation' to get a sense.)

Re:yay, another company who's CEO's rob shareholde (4, Insightful)

Aqua OS X (458522) | more than 7 years ago | (#17382642)

Damn, that was some ridiculous fanboism. Enron was a blue chip stock, caused the biggest bankruptcy the nation had ever seen, and screwed thousands of employees and shareholders. Applauding Bush's Justice Dept for investigating is like applauding me for pooping after consuming coffee and a bran muffin. If it didn't happen, something was seriously wrong.

Moreover, it was the downfall of Enron that highlighted Arthur Andersen and eventually exposed World Com. It's not like the Justice Dept. was on some sort of corporate crime crack down. They were dealing with the blatantly obvious.

Moreover, before you start cheerleading about "all of these corrupt companies were brought to Justice," I would suggest that you look at current practices for awarding and funding contracts for security, military, and reconstruction projects.

Re:yay, another company who's CEO's rob shareholde (0, Troll)

dieth (951868) | more than 7 years ago | (#17382766)

and Apple who always got stolen from of all people.
Get your facts straight, Apple stole most of there original stuff from Xerox.

Re:yay, another company who's CEO's rob shareholde (1, Offtopic)

Rosonowski (250492) | more than 7 years ago | (#17382912)

Get YOUR facts straight, they legitimately purchased those technologies from Xerox.

Here we go... (0, Offtopic)

Chineseyes (691744) | more than 7 years ago | (#17381350)

Cue the Microsoft in league with the government conspiracy theories.

Re:Here we go... (0, Redundant)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | more than 7 years ago | (#17381550)

"Cue the Microsoft in league with the government conspiracy theories."

Well they are, with the Bush administration at least.
That was hoisted up high and shown quite publicly in 2001.

However, this matter has nothing to do with MS, and even if it did have some element of MS in it, it concerns actions that Apple did by themselves and if guilty of a crime, should be penalized.

I do find it funny that you just painted yourself as a total MS shill though.
How's that beige polyester suit and loafers working out for you at the singles bar?

Re:Here we go... (1)

Chineseyes (691744) | more than 7 years ago | (#17382434)

The funny part is I haven't used windows since win98 and the suit is a little snug around the shoulders but it fits well. Also how old are you 50? I don't even know anyone who goes to singles bars and I didn't even know they existed these days if you want some young ass hit up the local club on a weekend or hit up facebook.

Re:Here we go... (2, Funny)

figleaf (672550) | more than 7 years ago | (#17381804)

Apple uses MS Office to produce option documents.
Someone from the government used a remote exploit to modify the option documents to entrap Apple employees.

Humbug... (4, Funny)

markild (862998) | more than 7 years ago | (#17381368)

What?? Are you saying that Steve Jobs makes more than $1 [wikipedia.org] a year?

Re:Humbug... (4, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 7 years ago | (#17381680)

So he'll have to pay his lawyer with... stock options?

Re:Humbug... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17381794)

Don't forget that Pixar/Disney are throwing a few bucks his way.

It must be noted, though (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17381384)

That like everything at Apple it was very easy to do. 3 clicks and options were faked. That's it!

Re:It must be noted, though (1)

argent (18001) | more than 7 years ago | (#17381484)

"What kind of computer produces annual reports like this?"

Re:It must be noted, though (5, Funny)

BobNET (119675) | more than 7 years ago | (#17381852)

That like everything at Apple it was very easy to do. 3 clicks and options were faked. That's it!

Yes, but it should be pointed out that if they weren't forced to use a one-button mouse it would have only taken one click...

Re:It must be noted, though (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17382484)

Yes, but it should be pointed out that if they weren't forced to use a one-button mouse it would have only taken one click...

They would have done it in one click, but Amazon already had a patent.

Is Apple still a /. sanction company? (1)

Bamafan77 (565893) | more than 7 years ago | (#17382690)

I just want to know if Apple should now be delisted from the list of "Officially Slashdot Sanctioned Companies". It hasn't been a good year for these companies, what with Google rolling over for China, Reiser murdering his wife, and now Apple playing financial dirty tricks. :)

What the stock market thinks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17381400)

Apple shares ended up exactly one cent higher today than yesterday, after huge panic selling in the morning.

Guys, do you realise that all of this story is just based on hearsay from some Anonymous Cowards?

Re:What the stock market thinks... (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 7 years ago | (#17381442)

Apple shares ended up exactly one cent higher today than yesterday, after huge panic selling in the morning.

Guys, do you realise that all of this story is just based on hearsay from some Anonymous Cowards?

(May I add that slashdot is sometimes completely braindead. On my first post it ignored my username/password marking this as a post by "anonymous coward", when it reposted it it asked me to "be more original". )

Re:What the stock market thinks... (1)

SlamMan (221834) | more than 7 years ago | (#17381774)

It might have something to do with when you have an issue with backdating stocks, it means your company's doing better than you expect. Its a sign to buy, not sell.

Re:What the stock market thinks... (1)

mobilebuddha (713936) | more than 7 years ago | (#17381872)

i'd say that depends on how you look at it

if your company stock price's been flat for the previous six months, and the backdating took place so that the options are now considered from late 2005 (example), you'd be making $, right?

Re:What the stock market thinks... (1)

dgb2n (85206) | more than 7 years ago | (#17381900)

I bought today at 77.80 and made 5% on the day (and sold $3 higher). Easy money.

The market overreacted. It may reflect poorly on management but it is highly unlikely to affect their ability to sell Macs or Ipods.

Re:What the stock market thinks... (1)

MonkeyCookie (657433) | more than 7 years ago | (#17383050)

Agreed. Apple is doing very well, and a few options scandals aren't going to affect the overall profitability of the company. Those who were dumping stock because a minor bit of bad news were thinking very short-term. There were obviously a lot of people who were aware of the long-term prospects of Apple and snatched up stock at cheaper prices, resulting in the stock ending up at about the same place it started yesterday.

I would have bought some this morning if I had the free cash. It was like a sale on Apple stock.

Did somebody say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17381424)

Hedge funds?

Shakespeare was right... (0)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17381430)

...need to kill all the lawyers.

Re:Shakespeare was right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17381540)

lawyers are a symptom of establishing societies ruled by law. The solution... get rid of laws.

Re:Shakespeare was right... (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 7 years ago | (#17381556)

...need to kill all the lawyers.

Uhhh...huh?

Ok, I'm a lawyer so I'm a bit biased here (all in all, I'd rather not be killed), but what exactly evoked this anti-lawyer sentiment? You think it's not fair that people were caught falsifying documents? I'm confused.

Re:Shakespeare was right... (5, Insightful)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17381778)

You have to wonder if some laws weren't created for the express purpose of making unnecessary work that benefits the lawyers more than the public at large. The rules for stock options gets changed, an army of auditors scours the book, the lawyers are called in and the media has a field day. The public may or may not benefit from this. Auditors and lawyers are making a ton of money. Shareholders are getting soaked either way.

Re:Shakespeare was right... (2, Informative)

nomadic (141991) | more than 7 years ago | (#17382096)

You have to wonder if some laws weren't created for the express purpose of making unnecessary work that benefits the lawyers more than the public at large. The rules for stock options gets changed, an army of auditors scours the book, the lawyers are called in and the media has a field day. The public may or may not benefit from this. Auditors and lawyers are making a ton of money. Shareholders are getting soaked either way.

Maybe, but I don't think that's the case here. It shouldn't take a lawyer telling you that modifying documents to reflect something that just isn't true could possibly be wrong. ESPECIALLY for a public company.

Say it Ain't So Fred! (4, Informative)

good soldier svejk (571730) | more than 7 years ago | (#17381436)

Disappointing that Fred Anderson is at the center of this. Anderson did a bang up job as CFO. He created the company's large cash reserves by liquidating unnecessary capital investments (plant), issuing a convertible debenture and selling some of their valuable ARM holdings. Then he managed the investment of those funds astutely enough to make the conversion of those outstanding notes to common stock a huge win for both the company and creditors. [macobserver.com] That 1999 conversion alone eliminated about two thirds of Apple's long term debt (conversely that means the issue had assumed most of Apple's debt). Really, this guy did an outstanding job. Apple can thank him for their sound financials.

Now it seems the financial genius is another self-serving, crooked corporate scumbag.

Re:Say it Ain't So Fred! (1)

bndnchrs (1044108) | more than 7 years ago | (#17381558)

Well, the same could be said of Ken Lay. He certainly did a "bang-up" job at Enron... until he got caught defrauding the public.



Lay even won the prestigious Gas magazine's "Man of the Year award"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_Lay#Awards_and_ho nors/ [wikipedia.org]

Re:Say it Ain't So Fred! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17381744)

Well, the same could be said of Ken Lay. He certainly did a "bang-up" job at Enron...

Actually, he didn't -- that was the fraud. In Fred Anderson's case, the accusation of wrongdoing has nothing to do with any of the above. So, it's a terrible comparison.

Re:Say it Ain't So Fred! (2, Interesting)

Bill Walker (835082) | more than 7 years ago | (#17381786)

...managed the investment of those funds astutely enough to make the conversion of those outstanding notes to common stock a huge win for both the company and creditors.

Convertible bonds aren't a win for existing stockholders, however, who find their stake diluted by the new issuance. To oversimplify, it would be like the US government printing money to pay debts.

Re:Say it Ain't So Fred! (1)

node 3 (115640) | more than 7 years ago | (#17382942)

To oversimplify, it would be like the US government printing money to pay debts.
Which, coincidentally, is exactly what we do.

Think about it. If the total number of dollars remained constant, a dollar today would be *more* valuable than in the past since there are now more people and more things to buy than ever before.

Every time the fed prints more money than is destroyed, they are deliberately devaluing the money in your pocket.

Re:Say it Ain't So Fred! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17381810)

So he sold off assets and took out a debt when they were doing poorly, and payed it off early when they were doing well ... real rocket science there.

Joe Shlock is rolling in his grave (0, Flamebait)

bndnchrs (1044108) | more than 7 years ago | (#17381468)

"Who's served by the delisting of Apple?" asked Jahan Raissi, a partner at Shartsis Friese who represents companies in SEC matters. "If it was Joe's Shlock and Poultry Farm, then sure, get them out of there. But not Apple."


Welcome to America, where the corporation reigns. You do the crime, you have to face the punishment. The stockholders had better sell quick. Its only fitting that my brand new Macbook crashed yesterday. Im in a perfectly good mood for Apple to suffer.

YRO? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17381470)

Taking one for the team once again, because it seems something so clearly in the apple section dare not you know be put there, bad rap and all. I love apple to death but this is some pretty blatant bias.

Lawyering up. (5, Insightful)

GodInHell (258915) | more than 7 years ago | (#17381490)

While Apple has said CEO Steve Jobs did not profit from the stock-option backdating, Jobs has reportedly hired his own attorney to deal with the SEC and Justice Department."
I hate it when comments like this come across as proof of wrong-doing. In buisiness I learned that you're a fool to act without the advice of a lawyer. As a law student I'm coming to understand that you're a damn fool to deal with the gov't without someone there to advise you.

The purpose of a lawyer is to look after your interests while you conduct your business - they can warn you of impending trouble - and can nip a long drawn out investigation that will result in no arrests or charges right in the budd.

It's stupid to blame someone for seeking protection from abuse.

-GiH

Re:Lawyering up. (1)

nolife (233813) | more than 7 years ago | (#17381590)

How or why did you interpet that comment as an attempt to prove wrong doing? I read that comment and came to the same conclusion you did, it was more then likely for protection purposes.

Re:Lawyering up. (1)

GodInHell (258915) | more than 7 years ago | (#17381666)

How or why did you interpet that comment as an attempt to prove wrong doing? I read that comment and came to the same conclusion you did, it was more then likely for protection purposes.
I read through the first few replies, includings such gems as:

yay, another company who's CEO's rob shareholders

What?? Are you saying that Steve Jobs makes more than $1 [wikipedia.org] a year?
and

Shakespeare was right... ...need to kill all the lawyers.


-GiH

Re:Lawyering up. (1)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | more than 7 years ago | (#17381682)

Because people do and people will.

Re:Lawyering up. (1)

no reason to be here (218628) | more than 7 years ago | (#17381762)

The problem is with the clause introduced by the subordinating conjunction "while." The implication of the while (in this context) is that there is an unspoken "regardless" or "nonetheless" with the independent clause. What if the sentence read like this: "While company representatives have said that Apple CEO Steve Jobs did not murder those underage thai prostitutes, Jobs has hired the services of an attorney."

so, do you see now how the sentence could be interpreted as implying Jobs' guilt?

Re:Lawyering up. (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 7 years ago | (#17381648)

> As a law student

OK, I will bring Captain Solo and the Wookie to you.

Re:Lawyering up. (4, Insightful)

GodInHell (258915) | more than 7 years ago | (#17381730)

Yeah yeah yeah - lawyer.. evil.. tell it to the birmingham five.. or any black kid attending school in the south.. or anyone who was arrested and found not guilty due to lack of evidence.

Oh.. right.. slashdot.. I mean *hiss* *woosh* "I have altered our arrangement" *hiss* *woosh*

-GiH

Re:Lawyering up. (2, Insightful)

darkmeridian (119044) | more than 7 years ago | (#17381768)

I agree one hundred percent with you -- who do you think works for the SEC and Justice Department if not lawyers? When a hundred government lawyers come after you, well, that's a great time to hire your own attorney.

Re:Lawyering up. (1)

gaspar ilom (859751) | more than 7 years ago | (#17381780)

In buisiness I learned that you're a fool to act without the advice of a lawyer.

while it doensn't mean wrongdoing, Steve Jobs is paying for his *own* lawyer -- above and beyond the legal representation from a law firm retained by Apple.

Re:Lawyering up. (1)

Atzanteol (99067) | more than 7 years ago | (#17381968)

Lawyers have the interest of he who is paying them in mind. Steve probably wanted lawyers who were specifically working in his best interest rather than the company's best interest? I wouldn't read too much into it myself.

Re:Lawyering up. (3, Insightful)

toQDuj (806112) | more than 7 years ago | (#17381892)

In addition to hiring a lawyer for legal advice, Steve Jobs now can spend more time on what he should be doing, i.e. leading a company and preparing for the macworld keynote speech.

Let the lawyer figure out the law stuff, and let the CEO figure out the business strategies. Taking all matters into your own hand is a grand waste of time.

B.

Re:Lawyering up. (2, Insightful)

TobiasS (967473) | more than 7 years ago | (#17382930)

It's stupid to blame someone for seeking protection from abuse.


I don't think anyone is blaming for seeking protection. You, however, using the word "abuse", seem to already have determined that he did nothing wrong.

Whether he personally profited from their accounting practices is completley irrelevant.
He is the highest ranking corporate officer at Apple and as such has responsibilities and obligations to the shareholders and the board.

If he violated those by backdating options for other executives and employees he is still on the hook eventhough he did not make a single dollar.

Re:Lawyering up. (1)

GodInHell (258915) | more than 7 years ago | (#17383070)

I don't think anyone is blaming for seeking protection. You, however, using the word "abuse", seem to already have determined that he did nothing wrong.
Point! My bad.

-GiH

Re:Lawyering up. (2, Insightful)

dan828 (753380) | more than 7 years ago | (#17383076)

It's stupid to blame someone for seeking protection from abuse.
It is worth noting, however, that Jobs did recieve backdated options during this time (55 million of them), but had them cancled in 2003 when the SEC started getting serious about investigating such things. However, he was rewarded with a bunch of new, non-backdated shares worth $85 million at the same time. Face it, Jobs stood to benefit from the backdating, was fully aware that it was going on, and still got the payoff when all was said and done. Just because they pulled a CYA so that they can now claim that Jobs didn't benefit from the options backdating doesn't give him a pass on the issue.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&re fer=columnist_crystal&sid=aCjJNnxSKEnM [bloomberg.com]

Steve Jobs Seeks Outside Counsel - Oh oh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17381506)

We already know that Jobs had knowledge of and approved of some of the bogus option moves by the company. Sounds like that may just be the tip of the iceberg.

Way to flamebait the headline (5, Informative)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#17381520)

The SEC has been investigating "about 80" companies for this since July. Apple started their own internal investigation, which they're sharing with the SEC. Oh, and it's former employees who are being looked at. Oh, and maybe backdating isn't illegal, it just should be declared.

Take a look here [com.com] or here [com.com] .

Re:Way to flamebait the headline (1)

red_flea (589243) | more than 7 years ago | (#17381806)

Oh, and maybe backdating isn't illegal, it just should be declared.

This is what I heard too, on NPR a couple weeks ago. Backdating options is a way to just give people money. You can give somebody backdated options only if you debit your company account by the current cost of the options. The fraudulent part is when the cost of these options are not properly calculated towards the company's bottom line...

Right?

Please, RTFA before posting inane comments (0, Offtopic)

Cherita Chen (936355) | more than 7 years ago | (#17381536)

Once again /.'ers are chomping at the bit to slam corporate America, Steve Jobs, etc... Without having read the article. Please RTFA before posting your comments. You only stand to raise the collective IQ of slashdot and make it a more intelligent place to gather.

Re:Please, RTFA before posting inane comments (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17381586)

You must be new here.

Re:Please, RTFA before posting inane comments (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17381594)

What does RTFA have to do with alleged corruption by corporate Apple officials? The article doesn't make the allegation go away.

You talk like a shill.

Re:Please, RTFA before posting inane comments (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17381716)

Like the parent post said, you should RTFA! If you did, you would understand that Apple initiated the investigation, and that it was 'former' employees who were believed responsible...

Re:Please, RTFA before posting inane comments (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17381918)

Once again /.'ers are chomping at the bit to slam corporate America, Steve Jobs, etc...

Yeah, because Slashdot loves to bash Steve Jobs! Err, what?

Seriously though, it's pretty much the other way round. As soon as there's an even remotely negative Apple story people like you crawl out from under your iMacs to come to the defense of almighty Jobs and his incorporated personal cult. We've had two stories today about large companies accused of wrongdoing. In the first case, MS was accused of sending laptops to bloggers with Vista installed. No matter that they didn't ask for anything in exchange, that they didn't tell bloggers to keep quiet about the origin of the laptops, or that it is pretty much standard procedure for any large company to send out freebies this way -- they were slammed anyway. Where were you then? The second story, about a pretty obvious case of fraud, which people might actually go to jail for in an Enron like scandal (albeit of lesser magnitude), however, you deem worthy of your calls for due process and careful reflection.

Fanboys will be fanboys.

Re:Please, RTFA before posting inane comments (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17382220)

First off, I'm definitely not an Apple "Fanboy". I have never owned an apple product other than an ipod. My point is that folks are so quick to post their uninformed inflammatory opinions without having read the article. And if you read the first 10 posts in this thread, a portion of them were obviously written without reading the article.

The very fact that you responded in the fashion you did suggests that you didn't read the article or the thread... so, FUCK OFF!

Re:Please, RTFA before posting inane comments (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17382870)

First off, I'm definitely not an Apple "Fanboy".

Anyone who thinks Slashdotters in general are fond of bashing Steve Jobs is the epitome of an Apple fanboy.

My point is that folks are so quick to post their uninformed inflammatory opinions without having read the article.

Yeah, and my point was that people will always do that, on some stories more than others. Apple stories are not among them. So why chose this particular article for your little tirade if you're not just another of Steve Jobs little bitches?

And if you read the first 10 posts in this thread, a portion of them were obviously written without reading the article.

Will you please find me one single Slashdot story, ever, where "a portion" of the first 10 posts weren't written by people who didn't read the article? I don't know if you're as new to this place as your user ID suggest, mr 936255, but your comments certainly suggest so. For your information: nobody ever reads TFA, mmkay? That's not the way we do things around here.

The very fact that you responded in the fashion you did suggests that you didn't read the article or the thread... so, FUCK OFF!

If I understood you correctly, the aim of your original post was to elevate the general level of discourse around here. Do you think invectives in all caps help to achieve that?

I wonder why you don't post under your account, Cherita Chen. Afraid to be modded down like the troll you are? (Before you ask: I don't have one.)

Re:Please, RTFA before posting inane comments (1)

CDarklock (869868) | more than 7 years ago | (#17382644)

But... but... we don't come here for the intelligence. We come here for the retarded arguments.

Or is that just me?

Apple is getting away with too much (-1, Flamebait)

DrRevotron (994894) | more than 7 years ago | (#17381588)

Apple is allowed much more leeway, it seems. Not only does Jobs get off scot-free when he lowered his salary to $1 for tax evasion reasons (While taking very lavish gifts from the board in the form of $45 million Gulfstreams), but Apple's iTunes DRM blocks out all the other MP3 players from working with iTunes. If Microsoft were doing the same things, they would have been dissolved quite a while ago. And how could Jobs afford to hire his own attourney with a measly $1 salary? You damn well better believe he's profiting somehow if he can personally hire an attourney.

Re:Apple is getting away with too much (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17381732)

And how could Jobs afford to hire his own attourney with a measly $1 salary? You damn well better believe he's profiting somehow if he can personally hire an attourney.

      You know, this year I had a bad year and actually lost money. But I'm still a multimillionaire, and can afford an attorney. Your argument does not hold, idiot.

Re:Apple is getting away with too much (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17382042)

Maybe we should do some research on this. How would a fucking billionaire, making "a measly $1 salary", be able to afford an attorney? I'm stumped. If you figure it out, let me know.

Not one to dogpile Apple, but... (5, Insightful)

hypermanng (155858) | more than 7 years ago | (#17381638)

If Jobs was aware of the problems but didn't take appropriate action it could still damage the company more than the non-story linked might imply. Essentially, Jobs has been hailed as a hero by fanboys and shareholders alike, and anything significantly tarnishing his tenure might remove some of the aura of invulnerability Apple has acquired in recent years. I don't by any means imply that Jobs' um, job is in danger, but it might complicate business partnerships and other strategic moves that Apple needs to remain competitive. iPod dominance aside, Apple's position is at least assailable, if not so tenuous as it was a decade ago. To reach its growth targets it has to navigate agreements with telecom providers like Cingular as well as convince say, Intel and Toshiba to continue to give it most-favored-nation status. Apple isn't Dell or Microsoft to expect to make demands of suppliers and partners with impunity.

Not yet, anyway, and maybe never, if the next round of initiatives (smart phone, media ventures, etc.) collapses.

Distracting Jobs and blemishing his heretofore immaculate turtleneck might have more consequences than just an easy story for everyone from CNET to AP report and re-report.

Re:Not one to dogpile Apple, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17381750)

No one's putting down an iPod at an Apple Store or holding off buying a MacBook because possible improprieties. Trust me, this is fluff, probably being pushed by someone who just plain ol' don't like Apple. Is it serious, yes. It it important? no. I'd eat my hat if we get a Steve Jobs perp walk out of this.

Re:Not one to dogpile Apple, but... (1)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 7 years ago | (#17382940)

I don't think you understand. Jobs may have been aware of the back dating and back dating is not illegal. What is illegal is that the accounting people did not adjust their numbers for each quarter where the backdating occurred to reflect this action. It may be that Jobs was not aware that the backdating had not been taken into account for the quarterly statements.

Hi, I'm a Mac... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17381824)

... and I'm the SEC. Please get in the car.

playing aggresively (4, Insightful)

fermion (181285) | more than 7 years ago | (#17381884)

I know that to win, one has to play aggressively, and there is a great benefit to controlling knowledge about internal company details, which can be quite difficult to do for a publicly traded company. That said, I do hope that all companies that lied about executive compensation get nailed to the wall, even Apple. Becoming a publicly traded company is choosing to be transparent to the public. The money that comes in with a stock offering is not free. That money cannot be arbitrarily spent as it might be in a private company. I have worked in private companies and the freedom is wonderful. I have worked in public company, and the transparency is a pain in the ass. But, again, the public money does not come for free. There is a price to be paid

The price is that executives can no longer spend company money on whatever they wish. Executives cannot arbitrarily set pay. What we have seen in the past twenty years is scam to increase executive pay while simultaneously decreasing exposure to risk, while in the truly private sector, the opposite is true. The stock option is the classic example. It is marketed as a method to align the executives interest with the stockholder interest. If the stock rises, the executive gets rewarded. In reality, just like bonuses, the behind the scene negotiations guarantees the money no matter the state of the company.

In reality, these new breeds of corporations, with their bloated bureaucracy, with no other purpose than to create meaningless work that justifies it's existence, and raise prices and cut research to free enough money to pay for these non productive agents, are indistinguishable from any other massively bloated public entity. The similarities to congress, who wants to vote in a pay raise every year, but can't complete the minimum job requirements like passing a budget, are amazing.

apple store closed (1)

matsuva (1042924) | more than 7 years ago | (#17381982)

for new iSteal launch

And the dead giveaway was... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17382024)

... that the forged documents were laser-etched on glossy black plastic stationery, instead of being of the usual black-ink-on-white-paper type.

Oblig.: Apple's next major product... (0, Flamebait)

EricTheGreen (223110) | more than 7 years ago | (#17382034)

...the iCheat

Re:Oblig.: Apple's next major product... (1)

kirun (658684) | more than 7 years ago | (#17382218)

Why buy that? I heard an unsubstantiated rumour that Microsoft might be launching Stock Market Optimiser for Vista some time next year. You'd hate to buy that other product and then become incompatible with the industry standard, now, would you?

Corporate crisis PR playbook (5, Insightful)

haggie (957598) | more than 7 years ago | (#17382068)

Use one or more of the following: 1.) "We have launched our own internal investigation..." 2.) "We are cooperating with authorities..." 3.) Imply that the offending personnel have long since left the company... 4.) Imply that CEO was unaware of wrong-doing... 5.) Use the phrase "a few bad apples..." Apple can't use #5 (for obvious reasons), but they have used the other four. Sounds about as believable as Tony Snow discussing Iraq...

Re:Corporate crisis PR playbook (1)

Atzanteol (99067) | more than 7 years ago | (#17382176)

Sounds about as believable as Tony Snow discussing Iraq...

More like Clinton denying he had sex with an intern. I love bad partisan analogies!

Re:Corporate crisis PR playbook (3, Informative)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 7 years ago | (#17382320)

'' Use one or more of the following: 1.) "We have launched our own internal investigation..." 2.) "We are cooperating with authorities..." 3.) Imply that the offending personnel have long since left the company... 4.) Imply that CEO was unaware of wrong-doing... 5.) Use the phrase "a few bad apples..." Apple can't use #5 (for obvious reasons), but they have used the other four. Sounds about as believable as Tony Snow discussing Iraq... ''

1) It was actually Apple who first found problems, told the SEC they had found problems, and started its own internal investigation.
2) If a company says "we are NOT cooperating with authorities", the company has a real problem.
3) Considering that this is about events from 1997 to 2002, it is not unusual that people leave a company in four years.
4) Steve Jobs just made a cool 3500 million dollars by selling his share of Pixar; the whole case here is about options worth less than 17 million.

Mountain from a mole hill? (1)

Enrique1218 (603187) | more than 7 years ago | (#17382104)

Apple did have some rough spots during the second coming of Jobs. I doubt Jobs would have a financial care if Apple tanked because he was still successful with Pixar. But, those other execs may have lost faith in Job's vision and decided to implement plan B. I suspect they developed an immunity to reality-distortion fields due to long term exposure early on. Thus, in those uncertain days during the recession, they decided to to milk those stock options with creative accounting. Though they probably rank up there with the Enron crew, any damage they may have done is neglible. During their tenure, Apple didn't even layoff a lot of people. With Apple doing so well and the replacement of the execs, I see this blowing over with moderate to heavy fines.

As for Jobs, whether he knew or not won't make a hugh amount of difference. Granted, if this had been any other company or he had been someone else, he would already be forced to resign. But, since Jobs is associated with Apple's recent success, I doubt any investor would ask for his head. I don't think they could find a replacement with his charisma, his vision, or his contacts. He is just too valuable.

Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17382152)

With as much as Jobs likes to chew people out, I'd like to hear how he confronts the execs...

Jobs hired a LAWYER? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17382266)

Jobs has reportedly hired his own attorney to deal with the SEC and Justice Department."

That should prove he's guilty right there. Innocent people don't need no lawyers. they just explain to the judge why it's all a big misunderstandin'.

The corporate lawyer is NOT your lawyer (4, Insightful)

nels_tomlinson (106413) | more than 7 years ago | (#17382274)

. While Apple has said CEO Steve Jobs did not profit from the stock-option backdating, Jobs has reportedly hired his own attorney to deal with the SEC and Justice Department."

This is probably a great time to remind everyone that unless you, personally, have paid your attorney's retainer, he is not your attorney. If the lawyers paid by Apple could save Apple a nickle by hanging an innocent Steve Jobs out to dry, they would be obligated to point out that fact to their client, who is not Steve Jobs.

The moral of this is that even if your employer has paid for a lawyer, you still need your own lawyer, even if you really are as important as Steve Jobs thinks he is. Don't depend on your employer's lawyer to defend you. He'll sell you out as soon as it helps his client.

Re:The corporate lawyer is NOT your lawyer (1)

ozzee (612196) | more than 7 years ago | (#17382418)

In California at least, in most circumstances the company is required to pay your legal fees, including hiring those fees your "own" lawyer for cases where you're defending against a compaint that originated from doing your job.

Re:The corporate lawyer is NOT your lawyer (2, Informative)

nomadic (141991) | more than 7 years ago | (#17382616)

The best thing to do is ask whatever lawyer you're presented with, "are you representing me or are you representing my company?". If he says both, be careful. If he says just you, you should be good. I do think in a lot of situations it's in the company's best interest to protect their employees; they're usually being the one sued, and the last thing they want is a vengeful, sold-out employee who's willing to testify against them now.

Culture will out (1)

ShagratTheTitleless (828134) | more than 7 years ago | (#17382346)

Color me surprised that a DRM pushing company bent on vendor lock-in employs immoral weasels.

Is Apple the Enron of Computer Companies? (-1, Flamebait)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 7 years ago | (#17382492)

Why does Steve Jobs need an army of lawyers if he didn't do anything wrong?

What other documents were faked? Was the turn-a-round of Apple into a profitable company faked as well? Did Apple cook the books Enron style?

Why does Jobs and other Apple execs have bank accounts in the Cayman Islands and the Swiss Bank?

How does this effect Macintosh and iPod owners? I just bought a used G3 iMac, and I was going to upgrade it so it can run OSX. Will OSX still be offered, or will the SEC and DOJ shut down operations at Apple so they cannot sell anything until this investigation is over?

It's a FUD-rucker (3, Insightful)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 7 years ago | (#17382764)

Why does Steve Jobs need an army of lawyers if he didn't do anything wrong?

Why should you object to us searching your car if you're not carrying any drugs in it?
Why should you care if we listen to your phone conversations if you're not plotting terrorism?
Why do you own a gun if you're not being attacked right now and don't plan on killing anyone?

Why are you using the psudonym "Orion Blaster" if you have the right to free speech?

Secondly, Steve Jobs hired an attorney, singular. Not "an army of lawyers". Thanks for playing the exaggeration game though.

What other documents were faked? Was the turn-a-round of Apple into a profitable company faked as well? Did Apple cook the books Enron style?

If some documents have been faked, there must be others. Just like if some music on your PC is pirated, you must have stolen all of it...

Yes, the backdating of stocks, the result of which gave MORE money to executives, caused Apple to be MORE profitable. [rolleyes]

Enron's issues were more than "cooking the books". The media portrays the entire Enron mess as a few guys changing a bunch of numbers in a ledger and a bunch of shredding of documents that proved their numbers were wrong. It goes further than that, into the realm of coercing power plant managers and tampering with the energy market itself. Remember those rolling blackout in California a few years ago? Those had nothing to do with an actual shortage of energy production ability verses demand in the summer months.

This is what Enron was up to... (2, Interesting)

argent (18001) | more than 7 years ago | (#17383102)

It goes further than that, into the realm of coercing power plant managers and tampering with the energy market itself.

No kidding.

"Tonight ... we want you guys to get a little creative [lehenbauer.com] ... come up with a reason to go down..." "... our electricity happens to be on-shift tonight ..."

Re:Is Apple the Enron of Computer Companies? (2, Interesting)

rob1980 (941751) | more than 7 years ago | (#17382790)

Why does Steve Jobs need an army of lawyers if he didn't do anything wrong?

Because the right to legal counsel applies to CEOs too?

Re:Is Apple the Enron of Computer Companies? (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#17382982)

Why does Steve Jobs need an army of lawyers if he didn't do anything wrong?
So, what you are saying, is that no one (and certainly not the government) ever commences or threatens legal action against someone who hasn't done anything wrong, and that having professional, capable legal advice can't help someone who has done nothing wrong demonstrate that? Wow. Nice world you live in. Nothing like the one over here, though.

The Purpose Of Lawyers..... (2, Funny)

IHC Navistar (967161) | more than 7 years ago | (#17382816)

Jobs needs alot of lawyers, because each lawyer he has means more padding between him when he hits the concrete.

gangsta (1)

Danzigism (881294) | more than 7 years ago | (#17382838)

Steve Jobby Jobs, you need to get yo'self a Snoop Doggy Dogg
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