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Apple's former top lawyer admits insider trading, could face jail

Apple Store Cutout Nyc Update
Apple Store Cutout Nyc Update (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple's former corporate secretary and director of corporate law has admitted insider trading.
  • Gene Levoff pleaded guilty Thursday to six counts of an indictment charging him with securities fraud.
  • He used inside information to make profits of $227,000, and avoid losses of nearly $400,000.

Apple's former corporate secretary and director of corporate law has pleaded guilty to six counts of an indictment charging him with securities fraud.

The DoJ announced Thursday:

The former corporate secretary and director of corporate law at Apple today admitted engaging in an insider trading scheme that spanned five years, Attorney for the United States Vikas Khanna announced.Gene Levoff, 48, of San Carlos, California, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge William J. Martini to six counts of an indictment charging him with securities fraud. Levoff was initially charged by complaint in February 2019.

Khanna said that Levoff had "betrayed the trust of one of the world's largest tech companies for his own financial gain" and had used "his position of trust to commit insider trading in order to line his own pockets" despite being responsible for enforcing Apple's own ban on insider trading.

From February 2011 to April 2016, while working as the top corporate attorney at Apple, Levoff reportedly "misappropriated material, nonpublic information about Apple's financial results and then executed trades involving the company's stock." It is alleged that he used this information to make profits of $227,000 while trading and to avoid losses of $377,000.

Levoff also reportedly repeatedly ignored Apple's own blackout periods, a standard tool companies use to prevent employees from trading their shares during certain times, usually prior to or during a company earnings call.

Levoff could face a hefty fine or even jail, each count of fraud (he is charged with six) carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $5 million fine. He'll be sentenced in November.

Stephen Warwick
Stephen Warwick

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple.