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Former Apple Lawyer Fined $1.15 Million After Insider Trading Conviction

Former Apple director of corporate law Gene Levoff has been ordered to pay the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission $1.15 million for insider trading, reports Reuters. Late last year, Levoff was sentenced to four years of probation and a fine, avoiding a possible two-year jail sentence.

At the time, the fine had not been determined, but the judge presiding over the case handed down a ruling on Tuesday. The judge said that Levoff's violations were "especially egregious" even though he had not been "living excessively."

At Apple, Levoff's role included making sure Apple employees were compliant with the company's insider trading policies, which is why the judge decided that his violation was of particular concern.

Because Levoff was meant to prevent insider trading at Apple, he had access to Apple's earnings results before they were made available to the public. He used the information that he learned to buy Apple shares ahead of better-than-expected results, and to sell shares when there were weaker-than-expected earnings. Levoff's shady stock dealings earned him approximately $277,000, while helping him avoid losses of around $377,000.

In July 2015, for example, Levoff knew Apple would not meet analysts' third quarter estimates for iPhone sales, so he sold $10 million in Apple stock between July 17 and July 21, which is when Apple's earnings information went live. After the announcement, Apple stock dropped more than four precent.

Levoff worked at Apple from 2011 to 2018, but he abused his insider information between 2011 and 2016. Apple fired him in September 2018 after the authorities contacted the company about Levoff's dealings. In June 2022, Levoff pleaded guilty to six counts of securities fraud for insider trading. Federal prosecutors pushed for jail time to deter other corporate executives from insider trading, but the judge did not feel that it was necessary because Levoff was fired and is no longer be able to practice law.
Tag: SEC

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