The backdating and repricing of stock options became a huge public issue last decade, almost immediately after the WorldCom and Enron scandals rocked the business world, which resulted in the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. The timing of this backdating and repricing of stock options occurred in the years that followed the Internet stock market bust in 2000 and 2001, followed closely by the events of September 11, 2001.
In responding to the questions related to this case, be sure to provide references for all sources you used. Your answers to this case study should be 5 pages in total, including cover and reference pages. The body of the paper, which must be at least 3 pages in length, should be double-spaced. Make a copy of each question below and place the questions into the body of your paper in bold-type, so that we can both see that you have addressed each one of the questions in your submission.
- Explain in detail what is meant by the backdating and repricing of stock options. Be specific.
- Conduct research regarding a SEC investigation of Apple backdating its stock options and the deposition of Steve Jobs. Summarize in your own words the results of that disposition. Did anyone at Apple get into trouble with the SEC in regards to the backdating of the stock options? If so, who and why?
- Comment on the ethics of backdating stock options. Summarize the best and most authoritative literature you can find on this subject. Do you believe that either the backdating or the repricing, or the combination of backdating and repricing at the same time, constitutes an act of fraud? Why or why not? Be specific. This is the most important question in the homework assignment for this week, so make sure your research and answers are well grounded, explained, and written. Cite sources.