The US Justice Department has ended its two-year criminal probe of backdated stock options at Apple, and have not filed charges against current and former executives, including Steve Jobs, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Apple, along with other companies, have admitted that they backdated certain option grants, including two awarded to Jobs, in order to take advantage of more favourable prices for the grants. It is not illegal, so long it is disclosed, but many have failed to do so.
Jobs has maintained that he knew that the options were backdated, but he was not aware of the accounting implications. Both Apple and the Justice Department declined to comment.
It is not over yet, as Apple is in a shareholder lawsuit alleging that several executives committed securites fraud in failing to disclose the company’s practice of backdating.