The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) yesterday opened insider trading charges against a former senior Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL) attorney named Gene Daniel Levoff. According to SEC charges, Levoff was responsible for implementing Apple’s insider trading compliance measures when he used his position to buy Apple shares before quarterly earnings releases.
Levoff served as Apple’s company secretary as well as the global head of corporate law where he was part of a committee that reviewed the company’s earnings results before they were released to the public. Using this information, he bought Apple shares before the release of three quarterly earnings reports between 2015 and 2016, which earned him about $382,000 in both profits and avoided losses.
The SEC’s charge is based on the fact that Levoff was a senior attorney in charge of ensuring the company’s compliance with securities law, while preventing insider trading by employees, yet he broke the same regulations he was supposed to uphold.
According to Antonia Chion, an Associate Director within the SEC’s Enforcement Division:
Levoff’s alleged exploitation of his access to Apple’s financial information was particularly egregious given his responsibility for implementing the company’s insider trading compliance
Levoff is being charged with fraud as the SEC seeks to recover his illegal gains and to bar him from being a Director of Officer of a publicly traded company. Furthermore, the SEC is seeking a permanent injunction, interest on his illegal profits among other penalties.
The case was filed at a district court in Newark, New Jersey.
Furthermore, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey today announced that it would be pursuing criminal charges against Levoff.
The SEC’s investigation is being conducted by Elizabeth Doisy and Pei Chung, while being supervised by Deborah A. Tarasevich and Ms. Chion. Daniel Maher and Cheryl Crumpton will lead the litigation.