Steve Jobs subpoenaed over backdating scandal

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The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has reportedly subpoenaed Apple chief executive Steve Jobs in its suit over alleged back-dating of stock options.

Newsagency Bloomberg cited sources "familiar with the matter" as saying that the executive had been called to give a deposition in the commission's suit against Nancy Heinen, Apple's former general council.

The report notes that Jobs is not the target of an investigation, and that the subpoena is only related to the case against Heinen.

An SEC spokesperson had no comment on the reports. Apple did not return a request for comment.

The SEC brought charges against Heinen in April, alleging that she had knowingly back-dated stock options awarded to Jobs and other Apple executives in 2001.

The practice allowed employees to maximise their earnings. Although common, it has recently come under fire from regulators.

Former chief financial officer Fred Anderson was also named in the April filings, but immediately agreed to pay a US$3.65 million settlement.

The commission has cleared Apple of any wrongdoing and vowed not to charge the company itself in the case. However, an SEC spokesperson told www.vnunet.com in April that the protection will not extend to individuals within the company.

A 2006 statement by Apple cleared all current employees, including Jobs, of any wrongdoing.
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