The chief executive of Apple's insider compliance program has been indicted by insider trading authorities.
America's Financial Services Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission, filed today [PDF] the ironic allegations against 44-year-old Gene Daniel Levoff, Apple's now global director of corporate law.
The regulator claims that Levoff obtained confidential information about the technology giant's quarterly earnings as part of a review of the design materials and then used that information to buy and sell Apple shares. Levoff did not do this once, twice, but three times, as the SEC claims in its civil action against the executive.
The biggest trade came in July 2015, when he sold $ 10 million of his own Apple stock – almost everything he had – so as not to lose money, as he found out early that Apple's results were worse than the expected market according to the SEC. When the profits were announced, the price of Apple fell by four percent. The SEC says that helped him avoid $ 345,000 in losses.
Other insider information-based businesses helped him earn money, he claims, with the SEC, for a $ 382,000 gain over two years.
Do what I say, not like me
The awful irony is that it was part of Apple's duty to oversee the company's insider trading program to detect and prevent the illegal activities it allegedly undertook itself.
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He also briefed Apple employees on their profit-related insider trading obligations and at the same time planned to ignore them. Apple apparently had not noticed the allegedly shady trades, although he had fired him in September of last year.
"Levoff's alleged exploitation of his access to Apple's financial data was particularly outrageous given his responsibility for implementing the company's insider trading compliance policies," said SEC executor Antonia Chion in a statement.
Levoff of San Carlos, California, is therefore being charged with fraud, and the SEC wants all the money he makes from his stock purchases and sales to be repaid along with interest. And then there are fines, a restraining order and a bar to become a manager or executive. In other words, it's the end of his corporate career when a US district court in New Jersey takes action against him.
At the same time, the US attorney for New Jersey filed a lawsuit today against Levoff, charging him with securities fraud. It is safe to say that Levoff, if convicted, should have known better. ®