Apple's stock options case looks more serious, with the Financial Times claiming CEO Steve Jobs was given stock options in 2001 without authorization from the company board.

While the 7.5 million shares granted to Jobs were later returned, the report claims documents relating to the grant were falsified. US regulators are considering the evidence, the report explains.

"It does create a certain amount of doubt as to whether Steve Jobs can stay with the company,'' Rob Enderle of the research firm Enderle Group told Bloomberg News. "It looks more and more serious.''

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster continues to believe there's only a slim chance that Steve Jobs was involved in any fasification of documents. His thhoughts were echoed by UBS analyst Ben Reitzes. Both analysts believe recent reports claiming Jobs to have hired his own legal counsel would reflect a perfectly logical course of action for the duration of the investigation.

Apple has declined to comment on the case, but has confirmed it it providing all the details of its own internal investigation to US regulators. That report did claim serious concerns regarding the actions of two former Apple executives. While these two names have not been disclosed, industry observers believe that former CFO Fred Anderson and former senior counsel, Nancy Heinen may be implicated.

Apple is one of 160 US companies implicated in stock options irregularities.