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Six jailed for insider dealing

Six men have been jailed for between 18 months and three-and-a-half years for their part in an insider dealing ring at major investment banks, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) has said.

Southwark Crown Court heard that Ali Mustafa, a print room assistant at UBS, and his brother Ersin, who worked as an operations manager in the confidential print room at JP Morgan Cazenove, stole documents on secret takeovers or mergers. They then passed them on to five traders, who made a profit of more than £700,000 by spread betting on them.

Ali Mustafa, 31, of Basildon, Essex, received a sentence of three years six months, as did two of the traders, Pardip Saini, 39, of Plumstead, south-east London and Paresh Shah, 47, of Potters Bar, Hertfordshire.

Traders Bijal Shah, 37, of Harrow, west London, and Truptesh Patel, 49, of Wapping, east London, received two year terms, while another, Neten Shah, 49, of Edgware, north London, was sentenced to 18 months. Broker Mitesh Shah, 45, from New Barnet, Hertfordshire, was acquitted at an earlier hearing of insider dealing, while Ersin fled to Northern Cyprus.

Judge Jeffrey Pegden QC, sentencing, said: "The insider dealing in this case was not isolated criminal behaviour. The meticulous and exhaustive FSA inquiry has revealed exactly how your cheating was perpetrated."

Tracey McDermott, acting director of the FSA's enforcement and financial crime division, said: "This is another significant milestone in our fight against insider dealing. It demonstrates that we can successfully present the issues in a long and complex case so that a jury understands them and has the confidence to convict criminals involved in insider dealing rings.

"This lengthy and complex trial followed many thousands of hours of work by a dedicated team of investigators across our enforcement, markets and intelligence teams to unravel a sophisticated scheme which was designed to enable the defendants to profit from exploiting confidential price sensitive information.

"They thought that by attempting to cover their tracks they would get away with their criminal conduct. This investigation and these sentences should send a clear message to anyone else who might be tempted to do the same. Insider dealers are criminals, no more and no less, and we are committed to using all the tools at our disposal to bring them to justice.

"This was the longest and most complex prosecution brought by the FSA to date. The case involved examining many hundreds of trading accounts and telephone records, to build up a picture of the timing and degree of contact between those in the insider dealing ring.

"The defendants obtained confidential and price-sensitive information from investment banks concerning proposed or forthcoming takeover bids. They then used a large number of accounts to place spread bets ahead of those announcements knowing that when the information became public knowledge the price would rise. The defendants were convicted of making a combined profit of £732,044.59 on trading between 1 May 2006 and 31 May 2008."


From Belfast Telegraph