Court Gavel And MoneyA federal jury has awarded more than $27 million to four former Allstate employees who sued the insurer for defamation.

The Chicago Tribune reported the employees worked for a now-defunct equity division of the Northbrook, Ill.-based company. According to court documents, they were fired in 2009 for allegedly timing trades to increase their incentive bonuses.

Allstate blamed “some employees” in a 2010 Securities and Exchange Commission filing for timing trades, saying they cost the portfolio more than $200 million over six years.

The employees were never named. But their lawyer says “it ruined their careers” because people could “connect the dots” and believe his clients did it.

Allstate spokeswoman Laura Strykowski says the company disagrees with the jury’s June 21 verdict and is “reviewing our post-verdict options.”