Illinois residents may be interested to learn that the Securities Exchange Commission has filed a claim against a former high-ranking attorney at Apple who allegedly used his position as corporate secretary to engage in insider trading. According to the suit, the lawyer either profited or avoided the loss of $382,000.
In his role with Apple, the lawyer was responsible for ensuring the company’s compliance with securities laws. His responsibilities included providing legal advice regarding Apple’s SEC filings and economic reporting as well as managing the company’s corporate subsidiary structure. The SEC’s claim does not charge Apple; rather, it notes the company’s anti-insider trader policy, which was partially written by the lawyer.
The lawsuit specifically claims that the lawyer made illegal trades through TD Ameritrade and First Republic brokerage accounts. Because the trades were administered by New Jersey-based market makers, including Virtu Americas and BNY Capital Markets, the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey filed criminal charges against the lawyer. If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $5 million.
Insider trading may seem like a crime that only affects large companies and high-profile executives. However, everyday employees as well as their friends, family members and associates may face federal charges for illegal insider trading if they are unfamiliar with the laws and do not follow SEC rules and regulations. Individuals who believe they may be under investigation for insider trading or any other white-collar crime could contact a seasoned defense attorney. It is always better to contact legal counsel earlier rather than later. An experienced attorney can help someone who is under investigation navigate conversations with federal investigators and potentially avoid unnecessary self-incrimination.