“The former top corporate lawyer at Apple Inc was criminally charged by the U.S. Department of Justice on Wednesday with insider trading ahead of six of the iPhone maker’s quarterly earnings announcements,” Jonathan Stempel reports for Reuters. “Authorities said Gene Levoff exploited his positions as corporate secretary, head of corporate law and co-chairman of a committee that reviewed draft copies of Apple’s financial results to trade illegally between 2011 and 2016. Prosecutors said Levoff, 45, of San Carlos, California, generated $604,000 in illegal gains, including realized profit and avoided losses, before Apple terminated his decade-long employment in September.”
“Levoff faces one count of securities fraud, carrying a maximum 20-year prison term and a $5 million fine,” Stempel reports. “‘Levoff’s alleged exploitation of his access to Apple’s financial information was particularly egregious given his responsibility for implementing the company’s insider trading compliance policy,’ Antonia Chion, associate director of the SEC’s enforcement division, said in a statement.”
“As co-chairman of Apple’s disclosure committee, Levoff helped Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook and his predecessor, Steve Jobs, ensure the timeliness, accuracy and proper oversight of company disclosures, including financial results, according to authorities,” Stempel reports. “Despite this, prosecutors said Levoff bought and sold more than $14 million of Apple stock, including $10 million in July 2015 alone, after being given draft earnings materials but before the results were made public. Authorities said Levoff knew or should have known he was breaking the law, citing a February 2011 email where he warned employees not to trade on material nonpublic information.”
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MacDailyNews Take: If found guilty, prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law.