Ex-Apple lawyer accused of $600,000 insider trading gains

The logo of Apple is seen at a store in Zurich, Switzerland January 3, 2019. REUTERS-Arnd Wiegmann

A lawyer who oversaw Apple’s insider trading safeguards is facing charges of using confidential information to earn $600,000 (£466,000).

The allegations against Gene Levoff emerged in criminal and civil complaints filed by the US Justice Department and regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

They accuse him of a series of illegal trades in the company’s shares over a period of five years up until 2016.

Insider trading involves the use of confidential information not available to the market for personal gain.

Mr Levoff, who was sacked by Apple last September, denies the claims against him.

The documents filed in court in New Jersey allege the 45-year-old abused his position on a special committee that reviewed key numbers contained in Apple’s quarterly earnings reports, before the earnings were publicly announced.

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His biggest trade, the filing alleges, came in July 2015 when he avoided $345,000 (£268,000) in share losses when he sold nearly all his holdings worth up to $10m (£7.8m) after learning that Apple had missed analysts’ estimates for quarterly iPhone sales.

When the details were later made public, Apple shares fell 4%.

Antonia Chion, associate director for the SEC’s enforcement division, said Mr Levoff’s alleged misconduct “was particularly egregious given his responsibility for implementing the company’s insider trading compliance policy”.

Mr Levoff’s lawyer said his client was looking forward to fighting the allegations.

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