U.K. Insider-Trading Suspects Said to Face Regulator's Decision on Charges
By Lindsay Fortado – Feb 21, 2012 7:30 AM ET
Seven people arrested by Britain’s financial regulator as part of its highest-profile insider- trading investigation may learn next month whether they’ll be charged, two people familiar with the probe said.
The suspects were arrested nearly two years ago by Britain’s Financial Services Authority and included employees who worked for Deutsche Bank AG (DBK) (DBK), Exane BNP Paribas and Moore Capital Management LLC. The suspects must report to police stations in London on March 26 to discover if they’re being prosecuted, said the people, who declined to be identified because they weren’t authorized to discuss the case.
The investigation is codenamed Tabernula, Latin for little tavern, and is probing whether the men engaged in the front- running of block trades. Investigators are seeking to determine if the suspects profited by using knowledge of upcoming securities sales, generally on behalf of a corporate client.
Not all of the suspects will necessarily be charged next month and some final decisions may be delayed, according to one of the people.
The FSA arrested an eighth suspect last year, and last week a ninth — a trader at insurer Legal & General Group Plc (LGEN)’s investment-management arm.
The FSA and the Serious Organised Crime Agency also searched an office and home in London and a residence in Kent, southeast of the British capital, during last week’s arrest.
The FSA secured the longest-ever U.K. sentence for insider trading a year ago when former Dresdner Kleinwort banker Christian Littlewood was imprisoned for 40 months after admitting illegal trading over a 10-year period, along with his wife and an accomplice.
Seven people who were charged in 2010 with making about 2.5 million pounds ($4 million) with data leaked from London printers with clients including UBS AG and JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Cazenove unit are scheduled to go to trial next week.
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