November 27, 2022

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It's the Technology

Apple’s former securities lawyer pleads to securities fraud for insider trading

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A former Apple lawyer who was in charge of preventing insider trading has pleaded guilty to six counts of securities fraud for insider trading, according to a Department of Justice (DOJ) press release. Gene Levoff, once the company’s former corporate secretary and director of corporate law, “misappropriated material, nonpublic information about Apple’s financial results and then executed trades involving the company’s stock” from February 2011 to April 2016, the release says. Charges against him were initially filed by the SEC as a civil complaint in 2019.

Levoff also served on Apple’s Disclosure Committee, a group that looked over company earnings reports and SEC filings before they were published. Using information he was privy to, he was allegedly able to realize profits of “approximately $227,000 on certain trades” and avoided losses of “approximately $377,000 on others,” according to the DOJ. Levoff also disregarded the company’s quarterly “blackout periods,” even after telling others that they could not buy or sell Apple stock during that time, and the company’s insider trading policy.

Specifically, Levoff was co-chairman of Apple’s Disclosure Committee, which reviewed and discussed the company’s draft quarterly and yearly earnings materials and periodic U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings before they were publicly disclosed. Levoff mined these materials for inside information about Apple to guide his decisions to buy and sell Apple stock ahead of its earnings announcements. When Apple posted strong revenue and net profit for a given financial quarter, he purchased large quantities of stock, which he later sold for a profit once the market reacted to the news. When there were lower-than-anticipated revenue and net profit, Levoff sold large quantities of Apple stock, avoiding significant losses.

Levoff’s sentencing is scheduled for November 10th. Apple didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment.

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