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SEC accuses former Apple lawyer with insider trading

Apple Inc. reaps large profits selling phones and computers to consumers in South Carolina and worldwide. Even so, major corporations experience ups and downs in their stock prices, and a lawyer formerly employed by Apple now stands accused of allegedly selling company stock before earnings announcements that influenced the stock's price. The Securities and Exchange Commission has filed a lawsuit claiming that the man engaged in insider trading, and a U.S. attorney has prepared criminal charges against him. He lost his position at Apple in September 2018.

During his employment by the technology giant, he managed the company's SEC filings and financial reporting. He also oversaw aspects of the company's corporate subsidiary structure. Apple has policies to deter insider trading, which include prohibitions on trading company stock during certain blackout periods. No accusations of wrongdoing have been made against Apple, and the company has not commented on the case.

The allegations against the former company lawyer arise from the sale of $10 million in Apple stock prior to an earnings report on July 21, 2015. That report resulted in a 4 percent decline for the stock, and the man allegedly saved himself from a loss of $345,000. Penalties for a conviction on securities fraud could be substantial with a maximum prison sentence of 20 years and a $5 million fine.

Financial records play a central role in the prosecution of these types of white-collar crimes. A person facing charges for insider trading, embezzlement or computer fraud could gain advice from a lawyer knowledgeable about financial crimes. A lawyer might challenge aggressive prosecution by questioning the interpretation of financial records and actions associated with criminal allegations.

Source: Market Watch, "Former high-ranking Apple lawyer charged by SEC with insider trading", Steve Goldstein, Feb. 13, 2019

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William G. Yarborough Attorney at Law