SEC probes Jobs heart attack

US financial regulators are said to be investigating the possibility that last week’s report that Steve Jobs had suffered a heart attack was an attempt to manipulate Apple’s stock price for financial gain.

US financial regulators are said to be investigating the possibility that last week’s report that Steve Jobs had suffered a heart attack was an attempt to manipulate Apple’s stock price for financial gain.

Apple stock dropped by 8% on Friday as a result of the reports, posted by a ‘citizen journalist’ on the website of US news station CNN. The cable network is understood to be ‘co-operating fully’ according to the US technology press.

The SEC has traditionally taken a very dim view of this kind of activity. Back in 2001 it successfully prosecuted a disgruntled former employee of an internet newswire service who falsely implicated storage vendor Emulexin a financial scandal.

Apple itself has not escaped the SEC’s attentions in the past. Earlier in the year regulators settled a stock options backdating case against former Apple lawyer Nancy Heinen, who is now being forced to pay back over $2m of ill-gotten gains.

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