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.

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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."

Top Rated Comments

AtomicDusk Avatar
68 months ago
Oh geez. It's hard to claim that he didn't know better considering his position...
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
VulchR Avatar
68 months 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.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
G5isAlive Avatar
68 months ago
all it takes is one bad apple...
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
genovelle Avatar
68 months 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
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
paul4339 Avatar
68 months 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.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cmaier Avatar
68 months 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?
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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