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US prosecutors have accused a former top lawyer from Apple for insider trading.

Gene Levoff is accused of using confidential information to trade the company's securities for personal gain.

Mr. Levoff, who was responsible for complying with Apple's Insider Trading Guidelines, is accused of having violated these policies several times.

Apple fired him last year after being contacted by authorities and conducting an internal investigation.

The US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that Mr. Levoff had been involved in insider trading on several occasions between 2011 and 2016.

"Levoff's alleged exploitation of his access to Apple's financial information was particularly outrageous given his responsibility for implementing the company's insider trading compliance policies," said Antonia Chion, deputy director of the SEC's enforcement department, in a statement.

"The SEC seeks to prosecute insiders who violate their obligations to investors."

In 2011 and 2012, Apple's former head of corporate law gained $ 245,000 (£ 193,801) in insider dealings, the SEC said.

Mr. Levoff also traded on the three quarterly earnings announcements in 2015 and 2016 with Apple securities. This avoided combined gains and losses of $ 382,000.

The indictment will be punished with a maximum of 20 years' imprisonment and a fine of up to $ 5 million.

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