Top Apple corporate attorney pleads guilty to insider trading

by IANS |

San Francisco, July 1 (IANS) Gene Levoff, a top corporate secretary and director of corporate law at Apple, has admitted engaging in an insider trading scheme that spanned five years.

California-based Levoff pleaded guilty by videoconference before US District Judge William J. Martini to six counts of an indictment charging him with securities fraud, said Vikas Khanna, an attorney for the US.

Levoff was initially charged by a complaint in February 2019, according to the US Department of Justice.

"Levoff betrayed the trust of one of the world's largest tech companies for his own financial gain," Khanna said in a statement late on Thursday.

Levoff's sentencing is scheduled for November 10.

"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," he added.

From February 2011 to April 2016, Levoff misappropriated material, nonpublic information about Apple's financial results and then executed trades involving the company's stock.

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.

This scheme to defraud Apple and its shareholders allowed Levoff to realise profits of approximately $227,000 on certain trades and to avoid losses of approximately $377,000 on others.

"This defendant exploited his position within a company strictly for financial gain that he would not have otherwise realized," said Terence Reilly, FBI Acting Special Agent in Charge in Newark.

The securities fraud counts each carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $5 million fine.

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