Former Apple lawyer is indicted for ‘breaking the same insider trading rules he was supposed to ENFORCE and making $600,000 in illegal gains’
- Gene Levoff, 45, of San Carlos, California was indicted on Friday in New Jersey
- He was formerly the top corporate lawyer for SEC compliance at Apple
- Prosecutors say he abused his position to trade stock on insider knowledge
- Levoff faces 20 years in prison and a $5 million fine if convicted
- His attorney vows to vigorously defend him against the charges
A former corporate attorney for Apple has been indicted for allegedly breaking the same insider trading rules he was supposed to enforce at the company.
Gene Daniel Levoff, 45, of San Carlos, California was indicted on six counts of securities fraud and six counts of wire fraud by a federal grand jury in Newark, New Jersey on Friday.
Prosecutors said Levoff generated $604,000 in illegal gains, including realized profit and avoided losses before Apple terminated his decade-long employment in September.
In a statement to DailyMail.com, Levoff’s attorney Kevin Marino said: ‘We look forward to vigorously defending Mr. Levoff against these allegations.’
Levoff was initially charged by complaint with one count of securities fraud in February 2019.
Authorities said 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.
When he knew Apple was about to release strong results, he bought Apple stock, and if the results were weak he sold off shares, according to the prosecution.
Corporate insiders are typically subject to ‘blackout periods’ that prohibit them from trading around the time of earnings releases — and everyone is prohibited from trading stock based on material, nonpublic information from a company insider.
Authorities said Levoff knew or should have known he was breaking the law, citing a February 2011 email where he warned employees, in all capital letters, not to trade based on material nonpublic information.
Gene Daniel Levoff and his lawyer Kevin Marino, right, exit from federal court in Newark, New Jersey in February when Levoff was initially charged
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.
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 became public.
Levoff faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $5 million fine on the securities fraud counts. The wire fraud counts carry a maximum penalty of 20 years and a fine of the greater of $250,000 or twice the gain derived from or loss caused by the offense.
The case is being pursued in New Jersey because authorities say servers are located there for firms that handled Levoff’s trades.