Former Apple executive looks for 2009 trial in SEC case

Former Apple general counsel Nancy Heinen is proposing May 18, 2009 for the beginning of her trail after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged her with fraudulently backdating stock options last year.

Heinen’s lawyers recently filed papers proposing new deadlines in the case ranging from the fact discovery cut off to the start of the trial. The original trial was proposed to start in March 2009.

Lawyers estimated at the beginning of the case that they would need to take 45 depositions and assured the court that “Ms. Heinen has made every effort to avoid needless litigation and to streamline the discovery process.” Her lawyers now say they will only need 25 depositions to mount her defense.

The SEC has taken five depositions already including one from Heinen; Fred Anderson (former Apple CFO); Philip Schimmel (former audit partner at KPMG); Arthur Levinson (member of Apple’s Board of Directors); and Steve Jobs (Apple CEO).

Counsel representing four current and former Apple employees were recently notified by Heinen’s lawyers that they will be subpoenaed for depositions — those employees were not named in the legal filings.

Heinen has also served subpoenas for documents to KPMG; Apple’s law firm, Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich and Rosati and several attorneys involved in advising Apple and reviewing SEC filings; eight financial institutions; and two educational institutions.

Requesting the documents doesn’t necessarily mean that Heinen will automatically receive the information. While her lawyers have received 3,600 pages so far, in addition to the 90,000 pages from the SEC, the court filing says a “great many documents have not yet been produced.”

Heinen’s lawyers also said that certain claims of privilege have yet to be resolved.

The SEC has accused Heinen of helping to backdate stock options given to Apple’s top officers, causing the company to under-report its expenses by almost $40 million.

The SEC filed similar charges against Apple’s former Chief Financial Officer, Fred Anderson, but settled that case. Anderson will pay $3.5 million in penalties in response to SEC charges that he should have noticed Heinen’s actions and corrected the company’s financial statements, the SEC said.

Apple and CEO Steve Jobs were cleared in the case by the SEC and an independent investigation.

Heinen continues to deny the charges brought against her.

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