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Apple’s former senior corporate lawyer has been charged with insider trading

By Wong Chung Wee - on 18 Feb 2019, 3:13pm

Apple’s former senior corporate lawyer has been charged with insider trading

One of Apple's senior corporate lawyers, Gene Levoff has been charged by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for insider trading. Levoff, who was formerly in responsible for Apple’s compliance with securities laws and regulations, is currently under SEC investigation for three securities transactions in 2015 and 2016.

According to the levied charges, Levoff made those transactions based on non-public information that pertained to iPhone sales figures. These sales figures were believed to be privy to senior management staff members of Apple. In order to prevent the misuse of such valuable market data, companies will impose a “blackout” period where employees with such knowledge aren’t barred from securities transactions.

For example, on February 24, 2011, Levoff sent an email to Apple employees explaining that a blackout period would begin on March 1, 2011, and remain in effect "until 60 hours after earnings are released in April 2011." The first sentence of Levoff's February 24, 2011 email stated: "REMEMBER, TRADING IS NOT PERMITTED, WHETHER OR NOT IN AN OPEN TRADING WINDOW, IF YOU POSSESS OR HAVE ACCESS TO MATERIAL INFORMATION THAT HAS NOT BEEN DISCLOSED PUBLICLY."

Apparently, Gene Levoff was responsible for notifying employees of the “blackout” period and reminding them not to perform any illegal securities transactions. According to the SEC charges, Levoff violated “blackout” periods in 2015 and 2016. He was fired from his position in Apple in September 2018 and he is expected to appear in court by end of the month this year.

(Source: SEC via CNBC)