New allegations have surfaced that Apple chief Steve Jobs was involved in backdating stock-option grants improperly while chairman of the animated movie studio Pixar.

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that Jobs approved a March 2001 employment contract with "Toy Story" director John Lasseter that granted Lasseter Pixar stock options priced in December 2000, three months before the contract was signed and when the stock price was at its lowest level of the year.

Although the newspaper reports it is not clear whether Jobs picked the December stock options pricing date, his signature, on behalf of Pixar, is on Lasseter's contract.

Stock options backdating is not illegal, per se, but there are US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations on how they must be accounted for and disclosed to shareholders.

Pixar has since been acquired by Walt Disney, Jobs now sits on Disney's board and is its largest individual shareholder. Disney said it is conducting its own investigation of Pixar stock options practices.

The US Attorney's Office and the SEC have been investigating stock options backdating actions at Apple and other companies for some time.

Luke Macaulay, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office, said he could not confirm or deny the Journal report and that their investigation of Apple and other companies continues.

Neither Apple nor Disney was available for comment.