Apple pays $20m to settle stock shenanigans suit

Apple has been caught cooking the books, a move which will cost the Cupertino company $20 million.

The cash, $14 million of which will be distributed to shareholders, will hardly make a dent in the company's vast pile of cash, but it's an emabarrassing smear on Apple's squeaky-clean reputation.

The company was caught trying to boost its share value by back-dating employee stock options to before the time they started working for the Californian gadget maker.

The suit was filed by the New York City Employees' Retirement System and relates to financial shenanigans which occured between 2001 and 2006.

Apple has also agreed to contribute $2.5 million to programmes at Stanford and Columbia law schools, which we'd like to think will help teach the next generation of legal eagles how to hide financial improprieties from the authorities more efficiently.

Jobs' Mob is also likely to be landed with $4 million in legal costs bringing the total to $20.5 million, according to Market Watch.