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Since the backdating scandal began unfolding nearly two years ago, regulators and outsiders have been wondering why so many public companies — many of them in the technology industry — began issuing undisclosed, misdated stock options grants around the same time.

Was it spread through word of mouth between directors who served on different boards?

The company and its independent auditors are reviewing the findings of the independent investigation.

Management continues to believe, and the audit committee agrees, that Apple will likely need to restate its historical financial statements to record non-cash charges for compensation expense relating to past stock option grants.

Or did a lot of CEOs just have amazingly good luck?

A stock option gives the recipient the right to purchase stock at a set price.

Steve defends public companies and their officers and directors in cases involving many different issues, including insider trading, SEC financial reporting and disclosure, revenue recognition, stock option backdating, and loan loss allowance calculations.

The special committee of outside directors, together with independent counsel and accountants, examined more than 650,000 emails and documents, and conducted interviews with more than 40 current and former employees, directors and advisors.

In the case of two Golden State tech companies, the concept of granting undisclosed, “in the money” stock options to executives could have originated with their general counsel, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

On Tuesday, the SEC charged Lisa Berry, former in-house corporate attorney of KLA-Tencor Corp.

Dozens of companies – including United Health Group, Comverse Technology, Vitesse Semiconductor and Affiliated Computer Services – have caught the eye of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice for the timing of their stock option grants.

The question: did these companies backdate options grants – and falsify records – to make them more lucrative for their top employees?