The former top corporate Attorney at Apple was criminally charged with the US Department of Justice on Wednesday with insider trading ahead of Half the iPhone Manufacturer’s quarterly earnings Statements.
Authorities stated Gene Levoff exploited his positions as corporate secretary, head of corporate law and co-chairman of a committee that examined draft copies of Apple’s monetary results to trade illegally between 2011 and 2016.
Prosecutors said Levoff, 45, of San Carlos, California, created $604,000 (roughly Rs. 4.3 crores) in illegal gains, including realised gain and avoided losses, before Apple terminated his decade-long job in September.
Levoff faces a count of securities fraud, carrying a maximum 20-year prison term and a $5 million (roughly Rs. 35.4 crores) fine.
The US Securities and Exchange Commission filed related civil charges from the case, among the rare cases of a senior attorney at a leading US company being implicated in a crime.
“Levoff’s alleged manipulation of his access to Apple’s financial data was especially egregious given his responsibility for implementing the company’s insider trading compliance coverage,” Antonia Chion, associate director of the SEC’s enforcement division, said in a statement.
Kevin Marino, a lawyer for Levoff, said he was reviewing the allegations and looked forward to defending his customer.
“Gene Levoff has been a highly regarded Apple executive for many years, and hasn’t been accused of wrongdoing,” Marino said in an email.
Apple said in a statement it had terminated Levoff following an internal probe, which it trains employees about their legal duties.
Authorities stated Levoff reported to Apple’s general counsel and was a corporate officer of every significant subsidiary of the Cupertino, California-based company.
As co-chairman of Apple’s reform committee, Levoff helped Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook along with his predecessor, Steve Jobs, make sure the timeliness, accuracy and proper supervision of business disclosures, such as financial results, according to government.
Despite this, prosecutors stated Levoff purchased and sold over $14 million of Apple stock, including $10 million in July 2015 alone, after being granted draft earnings materials but before the results were made public.
Authorities said Levoff knew or should have known he was violating the law, citing a February 2011 email where he warned employees not to trade on material nonpublic information.
The charges against Levoff were registered in New Jersey, where authorities said servers were found for firms that managed Levoff’s illegal transactions.
The instances are US v. Levoff, US District Court, District of New Jersey, No. 19-mag-03507; and SEC v. Levoff in the same courtroom, No. 19-05536.