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SEC Charges Former Apple Lawyer Gene Levoff With Insider Trading [Updated]

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has charged Apple's former vice president of corporate law Gene Levoff with insider trading, according to a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for New Jersey on Wednesday.


The complaint alleges that Levoff had access to Apple's earnings results before they were publicly announced and used this information to buy Apple shares in advance of better-than-expected earnings results and to sell shares ahead of weaker-than-expected earnings results between 2011 and 2016.

Through his illegal insider trading in 2015-2016, the complaint alleges that Levoff profited and avoided losses of approximately $382,000:
For example, in July 2015 Levoff received material nonpublic financial data that showed Apple would miss analysts' third quarter estimates for iPhone unit sales. Between July 17 and the public release of Apple's quarterly earnings information on July 21, Levoff sold approximately $10 million dollars of Apple stock – virtually all of his Apple holdings – from his personal brokerage accounts. Apple's stock dropped more than four percent when it publicly disclosed its quarterly financial data.
Levoff also served on Apple's Disclosure Committee from September 2008 to July 2018. In this position, he was ironically responsible for ensuring that other Apple employees were compliant with Apple's insider trading policies, including enforcement of "blackout periods" around the time of Apple's earnings reports.

Levoff was also tasked with signing off on some Apple acquisitions in his role. He was terminated in September 2018, according to the lawsuit.

Read the full complaint here. The news was first reported by CNBC.

Update: Apple issued the following statement per Bloomberg's Mark Gurman: "After being contacted by authorities last summer we conducted a thorough investigation with the help of outside legal experts, which resulted in termination."

Tags: lawsuit, SEC


Top Rated Comments

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19 weeks ago
Oh geez. It's hard to claim that he didn't know better considering his position...
Rating: 17 Votes
19 weeks ago
all it takes is one bad apple...
Rating: 15 Votes
19 weeks ago

“Stealing” is not a crime. Armed robbery is a violent crime. Embezzlement and larceny are non-violent crimes with less severe penalties.

So to answer your question, no, he likely will not serve any jail time because this is not the same thing as storming a bank and demanding cash at gunpoint.


You can serve jail time for robbing a bank with an unloaded weapon. Theft is theft. The fact that white-collar crime is not punished in the same way as blue-collar crime is rather like having lower taxes on unearned income compared to earned income. The system favors the powerful and rich.
Rating: 14 Votes
19 weeks ago

Suppose he is found guilty - would he actually serve serious jail time?

Now imagine somebody steals close to $400K from a bank...

That might be a question for Martha Stuart
Rating: 12 Votes
19 weeks ago
These guys get compensated millions of $ in salaries and options... why bother risk your job, future employment prospects, maybe disbarment from practicing as a lawyer, maybe jail time, for several hundred $K? Greed.
Rating: 11 Votes
19 weeks ago
The california bar seems to have put him on inactive status back in october, so looks like they were aware? Or maybe he put himself on inactive status?
Rating: 7 Votes
19 weeks ago

“Stealing” is not a crime. Armed robbery is a violent crime. Embezzlement and larceny are non-violent crimes with less severe penalties.

So to answer your question, no, he likely will not serve any jail time because this is not the same thing as storming a bank and demanding cash at gunpoint.


Huh? So if I dug a tunnel into a bank vault at night when no one is around - then I can help myself to whatever I want since there is no “violence”?
Rating: 4 Votes
19 weeks ago
Good job SEC. Finally catching something that someone did in 2011.

So like only 5% of these guys get caught, right?
Rating: 4 Votes
19 weeks ago

I wanted to post how I couldn’t wait to learn how this was somehow Cook’s/Apple’s fault. Thanks so much for the lesson.


Tim gets paid a lot of money. He is a big boy. He doesnt need your cheerleading.
Rating: 3 Votes
19 weeks ago

Imho the company is run by money focused people. What they need is to get the spirit back. They need a technological visionary who loves tech and is able to translate that into products that people will love. If they manage that again, the products will sell itself.

Every thing Apple is doing today has one focus: DOES IT PRODUCE ENOUGH PROFITS.

With such a mentality you’re not able to build a good relationship with customers.

Things need to change and I really believe Apple will be forced to change by competitors.


They remind me of Sony; a shell of their former selves.

I dont see how people can either maintain he is a tech visionary, or admit that he isn't and say 'but doesnt matter because iPhones sell great anyways.' Of course it matters, most of us that post here do so because we're enthusiasts, not bean counters..
Rating: 3 Votes

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