(Reuters) – The former top corporate lawyer at Apple Inc was criminally indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice Wednesday with insider trading ahead of six of the iPhone maker’s quarterly earnings announcements.
Authorities said Gene Levoff abused his position as secretary-general, head of the corporate law and co-chairman of a committee that a revised draft copies of Apple’s financial results for the trade of illegal, between 2011 and 2016.
The prosecutors said Levoff, 45, San Carlos, California, generated $604,000 in illegal profits, including loss of profits and avoided losses before Apple ended his years of work in September.
Levoff faces one count of securities fraud, carrying a maximum of 20 years in prison and $5 million fine. He is expected to appear on Feb. 20 in a federal district court in Newark, New Jersey.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed related civil charges in the case, one of the rare cases of a senior lawyer at a large AMERICAN company is involved in a crime.
“Levoff’s alleged exploitation of its access to Apple’s financial information was particularly egregious given his responsibility for the execution of the company’s insider trading compliance policy,” Antonia Chion, associate director of the SEC enforcement division, said in a statement.
Kevin Marino, a lawyer for Levoff, he said, was the review of the allegations and looked forward to defending his client.
“Gene Levoff was a highly regarded Apple executive for many years, and have never before been accused of misconduct,” Marino said in an e-mail.
Apple has not immediately responded to requests for comment.
Authorities said Levoff reported to Apple’s general counsel and corporate officer of each significant subsidiary of the Cupertino, California-based company.
As co-chair of the Apple disclosure committee, Levoff helped Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook and his predecessor, Steve Jobs, ensuring the timeliness, accuracy and proper oversight of the company’s disclosures, including financial results, according to the authorities.
Despite this, the public prosecutor said Levoff bought and sold more than $14 million of Apple stock, including $10 million in July 2015, only, after the design of the gain materials, but before the results became public.
Authorities said Levoff knew or should have known that he was breaking the law, citing a February 2011 email in which he warned employees, in capital letters, not to act on the basis of material, non-public information.
The charges against Levoff were filed in New Jersey, where authorities said servers were located for companies that treated Levoff the illegal trade.
The cases are in the united states of america. Levoff, the U. S. District Court, District of New Jersey, No. 19-may-03507; and SEC v. Levoff in the same court, No. 19-05536.
Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Jeffrey Benkoe