If you cover it up and fail to report that expense, the way Apple's folks allegedly did, well, that amounts to accounting fraud.While a few of those 38 terminations may turn out to be the result of such activity, it's likely that the vast majority fell on their swords to avoid sullying the good names of their companies.In researching this post, I came across a number of recent reports on Henry Nicholas III, the once high-flying CEO and cofounder of Broadcom. While the story was enthralling, I didn't understand what any of it had to do with a federal investigation into stock option backdating.The allegations of illicit sex, drugs, and rock and roll reminded me of the 60s ... Sure, Broadcom had to take a .2 billion charge to fix the accounting mess left by the company's former executives.
Heinen also exercised and sold 400,000 back-dated shares.Of course, they may have actually been pushed on their swords by their boards, but let? In the case of Apple, not only did the board send two sacrificial lambs to slaughter, but the feds hung some pretty hefty charges on their necks to boot. VP, General Counsel, and Secretary Nancy Heinen, and former CFO and director Fred D. The SEC's complaintfocuses on the backdating of two large option grants, one of 4.8 million shares for Apple's executive team and the other of 7.5 million shares for Steve Jobs.Heinen allegedly covered up the back-dating, which caused Apple's earnings to be inflated.But how does that relate to hiring prostitutes and drugging customers without their knowledge?Said another way, do the feds really need to dig that deep to find enough rope to hang executives with?
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And, he did not directly benefit from the backdated options because they were canceled and exchanged for restricted shares.