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SEC charges former Apple lawyer with insider trading

The former exec traded on insider information three times in 2015 and 2016, profiting and avoiding losses of around $382,000, the suit says.

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The US Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday accused former Apple executive Gene Levoff of insider trading. 

Levoff, who was Apple's senior director of corporate law and corporate secretary until September, "exploited his positions as a senior attorney and a member Apple's Disclosure Committee to unlawfully trade Apple securities ahead of Apple quarterly earnings announcements," according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday. 

The suit, which was filed in the US District Court of New Jersey, alleges that Levoff traded on insider information three times in 2015 and 2016, profiting and avoiding losses of around $382,000. The complaint also says Levoff had been involved in insider trading at least three more times in 2011 and 2012, making around $245,000 in profit. 

Levoff had been tasked with helping to ensure employees followed Apple's insider trading policies, according to the suit.

"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 policy," Antonia Chion, associate director of the SEC's Division of Enforcement, said in a statement.  

Levoff allegedly had access to earnings results and information on iPhone sales that weren't yet public. Additionally, Levoff sent emails notifying employees about a blackout period in which they were prohibited from trading Apple securities, immediately before his insider trading in 2011, the suit says. 

The US Department of Justice also said Wednesday that it had charged Levoff with one count of securities fraud. Levoff is scheduled to appear in court Feb. 20. 

"Gene Levoff was a highly respected senior Apple executive for many years, and was never accused of wrongdoing of any kind," Levoff's attorney Kevin Marino said. "We are reviewing the civil and criminal allegations against him, and look forward to defending him in both matters."

Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. 

You can read the full suit here:

US Securities and Exchange ... by on Scribd

First published Feb. 13 at 3:54 p.m. PT
Update, 4:10 p.m.: Adds comment from Levoff's attorney. 

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