You see, if you backdate stock options to a date when the price of the stock was lower, then the options are "in-the-money" when granted.

That means the company incurs an expense equal to the difference in the share price between the two dates.

Anderson got nailed because, according to the complaint, he should have noticed what Heinen was doing and either stopped it or reported the expense properly.

At the end of the day, Jobs dodged a bullet because of 1) his value to Apple's shareholders, 2) his value to the U. economy, and 3) just plain luck that neither Apple's board nor the SEC found a smoking gun to force them to do something they didn't want to do.

; February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011) was an American entrepreneur, business magnate, inventor, and industrial designer.

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.

Or that an investigation by Disney into options backdating at Pixar also cleared Jobs of any wrongdoing, even though he helped negotiate the deal in which Pixar's star film director, John Lasseter, received backdated options.

The bottom line: Claims that Jobs was unaware of the accounting implications of backdating are hardly believable, but there was no evidence to the contrary.

After all, stock option backdating is all the rage these days.

You'd think they'd be up to their eyeballs in rope.

And, he did not directly benefit from the backdated options because they were canceled and exchanged for restricted shares.