Gene LevoffSource: Bloomberg

What you need to know

  • Former Apple lawyer Gene Levoff is fighting his insider trading charges.
  • The defense claims prosecution over insider trading is unconstitutional.
  • Apple had fired Levoff back in 2018 because of his actions.

A former in-house lawyer for Apple, who was indicted in 2019 for insider trading, is asking the court to dismiss his case because it is unconstitutional.

Reported by Bloomberg, Gene Levoff has asked a New Jersey judge to dismiss the case against him on the grounds that no criminal law bars the conduct he is accused of.

Kevin Marino, Levoff's lawyer, filed the complaint, saying that insider trading as a crime was invented by judges and not legislators. That, according to the defense, "renders the criminal prosecution of insider trading unconstitutional."

"The definition of insider trading is wholly judge-made: Every element of the crime and the scope of regulated individuals subject to it was divined by judges, not elected legislators ... This alone renders the criminal prosecution of insider trading unconstitutional."

Levoff is being charged with insider trading due to his action taken with Apple stock. He had been privy to financial information about the company before it reached investors, and his actions resulted in "$227,000 in profits, while allowing him to avoid $377,000 of losses". Before being indicted for insider trading in 2019, Apple had placed Levoff on leave and then fired him in 2018.

"Levoff's trades based on the inside information led to about $227,000 in profits, while allowing him to avoid $377,000 of losses, according to prosecutors. Levoff was Apple's senior director of corporate law when the company fired him in September 2018 after placing him on leave two months earlier."

According to Miriam Baer, a professor at Brooklyn Law School, Levoff's is unlikely to win. Baer says that the Supreme Court has dealt with an insider trading case as soon as 2016 and that "if they thought the way insider trading law has been developed was unconstitutional, you'd think this would have come out by now."