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Editor’s note: In yesterday’s DailyWealth, our colleague Porter Stansberry gave you his take on one of the biggest scandals on Wall Street. Today, he lines up an even bigger name...

Steve Jobs is Going To Jail

By Porter Stansberry
Wednesday, November 29, 2006

They were all in it together...

The corporate big shots, the bankers, the politicians, and the regulators. They were all feeding on you, me, and everyone who bought a mutual fund or deposited funds in a stock-centric 401k...

Accounting rules require options to be granted at the same price of the stock on the day they’re issued. This is to ensure that no grant recipient is given an "in the money option."

If you grant options that are already in the money, you’re stealing from other shareholders – it’s that simple. Worst of all, these conspiracies involved the corporations’ boards of directors – the very people who are richly paid to guard the hen house. It’s outrageous.

If the public ever wakes up to what was really happening to its investments in the stock market... well, we’ve only seen the beginning of this scandal. In yesterday’s DailyWealth, I predicted the illegal and immoral backdating of options would send Maxim Integrated (MXIM) CEO John Gifford to jail.

I’ve got one more prediction for you: Steve Jobs is going to jail, too.

Few men have enriched themselves more at the expense of their shareholders in recent years – both at Apple and at Jobs’ other creation, Pixar. At Pixar, the entire board of directors (which included Jobs) voted to approve options grants. And friends of Jobs were showered with illegally backdated options.

John Lasseter, the company’s head of creative development, was granted 2 million options on December 6, 2000. That day saw the lowest closing price for Pixar’s stock for the year, $13.25. The grant is doubly peculiar because it was the largest options grant ever made by Pixar and it was part of Lasseter’s employment contract, which wasn’t signed until March 2001.

By the time Pixar bothered to tell its shareholders about the grant (April 2001) its share price had already risen to $16.33.

Don’t you wish you had a friend like Jobs? Well, maybe not. He loves himself a bit too much, as you’ll see...

At Apple, Jobs granted himself (with his handpicked board’s approval) 10 million stock options in 2000! The grant, which was one of the largest ever given by any corporation, was made on Apple’s single-lowest closing price of the month.

This grant was almost certainly fraudulent (backdated). Jobs, because of his experience at Pixar, certainly knew it was a fraudulent grant. So far, Apple admits Jobs knew about fraudulent grants and was awarded a fraudulent grant, but says he did not "benefit" from the practice.

What? He received a 10 million-share, backdated options grant, but he didn’t benefit? Are they kidding? Jobs is going to jail. There’s no difference between what he admits to doing and embezzling hundreds of millions of dollars from shareholders.

He was taking something that didn’t belong to him from the people who entrusted him to safeguard their interests. It’s absolutely despicable.

Good investing,

Porter Stansberry

Market Notes


St. Joe (JOE) is recovering... Alico (ALCO) is recovering... and Consolidated Tomoka (CTO) is recovering.

These stocks have three things in common: They all own tons of Florida real estate. They’re all up at least 10% in the past five months. And they’ve all brought huge gains to the readers of Dan Ferris’ Extreme Value. Take Consolidated Tomoka for example...

An Extreme Value holding for more than three years, CTO owns more than 11,000 acres of land near Daytona Beach, Florida. It finds the best and most profitable use for that land, and it has done it for more than 100 years. No strange mortgages. No pre-construction condo flipping. Just acres and acres of the Sunshine State.

If you’ve never heard of CTO, don’t worry. Wall Street hasn’t either. When Dan recommended the stock, it was selling at a tremendous discount to its underlying value... and had zero analyst coverage. As Dan put it three years ago: "You’re unlikely to hear about Tomoka from your broker. It doesn’t get much Wall Street coverage. When I found this stock, it didn’t even have its own website..."

CTO is up 165% since Dan’s recommendation... and finding undercovered, undervalued assets is the safest and most profitable form of investing in the world.

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