"Levoff's alleged exploitation of his access to Apple's financial information was particularly egregious given his responsibility for implementing the company's insider-trading compliance policy", Antonia Chion, an associate director in the SEC's enforcement division, said in a statement. Here, stock numbers for Apple are displayed on a screen at the Nasdaq MarketSite in Times Square last month in New York City.
Levoff, of San Carlos, California, had worked at Apple for a decade and overseen about 20 to 30 lawyers and paralegals responsible for its global corporate law issues prior to his termination in September, the SEC said.
U.S. prosecutors have charged a former top Apple lawyer with insider trading.
The regulator claims Levoff received confidential information about the tech giant's quarterly earnings as part of a review of draft materials, and then used that information to buy and sell Apple shares. "By trading on this material nonpublic information, Levoff avoided approximately $345,000 in losses".
The US Department of Justice also said Wednesday that it had charged Levoff with one count of securities fraud.
Levoff, 44, became Apple's Senior Director of Corporate Law in 2013, after five years as its Director of Corporate Law. As a member of Apple's "disclosure committee", he got to review quarterly and annual reports, and press statements before their public release. He was sacked from Apple in September 2018.
In 2011 and 2012, Apple's former head of corporate law made $245,000 (£193,801) in profits by engaging in insider trading, the SEC said. Levoff did this not once, not twice but three times, according to the SEC in its civil lawsuit against the exec. Additionally, Levoff sent emails notifying employees about a blackout period in which they were prohibited from trading Apple securities, immediately before his insider trading in 2011, the suit says.
As co-chairman of Apple's disclosure committee, Levoff helped Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook and his predecessor, Steve Jobs, ensure the timeliness, accuracy and proper oversight of company disclosures, including financial results, according to authorities.
Levoff and an attorney representing didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
The SEC is seeking monetary penalties and a prohibition on Levoff serving as an officer or director of a public company.
Levoff is being sued in U.S. District Court in New Jersey.
The charges against Levoff were filed in New Jersey, where authorities said servers were located for firms that handled Levoff's illegal trades.