In a recent development, Gene Levoff, Apple’s former top corporate lawyer, will avoid prison time after pleading guilty to U.S. insider trading charges last year. U.S. District Judge William Martini, presiding in Newark, New Jersey, delivered the verdict on Thursday, sentencing Levoff to four years of probation and 2,000 hours of community service. The judge also imposed a $30,000 fine and a forfeiture of $604,000.
Guilty Plea and Charges
Gene Levoff had pleaded guilty to six securities fraud counts, each carrying a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $5 million fine. Kevin Marino, Levoff’s lawyer, expressed satisfaction with the outcome, describing it as a “fair and appropriate sentence of probation” in an email statement.
Prosecutors alleged that Levoff took advantage of his positions as Apple’s corporate secretary, head of corporate law, and co-chair of a committee responsible for reviewing the company’s financial results. From 2011 to 2016, Levoff reportedly orchestrated illegal gains amounting to $604,000 through trades exceeding $14 million.
Violations and Exploitation
Levoff allegedly disregarded quarterly “blackout periods” that prohibited trading before Apple’s results were officially disclosed. Furthermore, he was accused of violating Apple’s broader insider trading policy, which he was responsible for enforcing. This breach of trust occurred as Levoff engaged in trading activities against the established guidelines.
Employment Termination and Legal Ramifications
Apple, headquartered in Cupertino, California, terminated Levoff’s employment in September 2018, five months before criminal charges were filed against him. The case, U.S. v. Levoff, was heard in the U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey, with case number 19-cr-00780.
While Levoff avoids imprisonment, the sentence has sparked discussions about handling corporate misconduct cases and the adequacy of penalties in deterring such behavior within the business world. The resolution of this case emphasizes the importance of upholding ethical standards and the legal responsibilities of individuals holding key positions in major corporations.