Former Apple vice president of corporate law Gene Levoff has pleaded guilty to six counts of securities fraud for insider trading. The news comes via a Department of Justice (DOJ) press release).
The former Apple lawyer “misappropriated material, nonpublic information about Apple’s financial results and then executed trades involving the company’s stock” from February 2011 to April 2016, says the release.
Gene Levoff, 48, of San Carlos, California, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge William J. Martini to six counts of an indictment charging him with securities fraud. Levoff was initially charged by complaint in February 2019.
“Gene Levoff betrayed the trust of one of the world’s largest tech companies for his own financial gain,” Attorney for the United States Khanna said. “Despite being responsible for enforcing Apple’s own ban on insider trading, Levoff used his position of trust to commit insider trading in order to line his own pockets. This Office will continue to prioritize securities fraud prosecutions.”
“This defendant exploited his position within a company strictly for financial gain that he would not have otherwise realized,” Terence Reilly, FBI Acting Special Agent in Charge in Newark, said. “That’s called ‘gaming the system.’ Insider trading is not just illegal, it is a threat to the viability of our markets. The average American, whose retirement savings is invested in these companies, has every right to expect that rules are being followed, the game is being played fairly, and their nest egg is safe from profiteers who willingly sidestep the rules to improve their own financial future at the expense of others. The FBI is here to make sure the playing field is level.”
Levoff served on Apple’s Disclosure Committee from September 2008 to July 2018. One of Levoff’s responsibilities involved 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.
Unfortunately, Levoff allegedly took advantage of his position to secure profits for himself worth approximately $227,000, avoiding losses of around $377,000. Apple terminated his employment in September 2018.
Levoff could receive a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $5 million fine. His sentencing is scheduled for November 10.