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An internal investigation released in December found no evidence of wrongdoing by Jobs, but that did not remove the cloud of suspicion over the company’s powerful CEO. From the start, the focus has been Jobs’ 2001 receipt of 7.5 million options that were backdated through minutes of a board of directors meeting that never occurred.

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That action rendered them more valuable to the people who received them and could then sell them at a higher price.But it was a star-studded board of directors that approved the favorable grant date – not Jobs – to end a tough negotiation to compensate him for his leadership.Among those who approved the grant were Arthur Levinson, Genentech’s president and CEO; Larry Ellison, Oracle’s powerful leader; Bill Campbell, Intuit’s former CEO; and Millard Drexler, former president and CEO of Gap.If Jobs avoids criminal charges for the 2001 grant – easily the most explosive revelation in Apple’s backdating report – he may avoid criminal charges entirely.He has a considerable defense against any charges for his role in Apple’s backdating because there is little, if any, evidence he knew of its accounting implications.Mc Kelvey agreed to the SEC settlement without confirming or denying the agency’s accusations against him.

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