Banker and wife charged with insider trading by UK regulator
Published 16/03/2010 | 05:00
CHRISTIAN Littlewood, a former banker at Shore Capital Group and Commerzbank, and his wife have been charged with insider trading by the UK financial regulator.
Littlewood faces 13 counts of insider trading with his wife, Angie Littlewood, the Financial Services Authority said yesterday.
A third suspect, from Singapore was arrested in the Comoros Islands, a French territory off the coast of Africa, in connection with the case.
Littlewood, a senior corporate-finance adviser at Commerzbank's Dresdner subsidiary until 2007, was arrested in April 2009. He left Shore Capital the same month, after seven months of employment, according to the FSA.
Before 2008, the FSA had never filed a criminal case of insider trading. Since then, however, it has sent four people to jail for the offence, which carries a maximum seven-year sentence.
The FSA is hiring an extra 460 employees, which will cost financial companies £62m (€68m) more in regulatory fees this year, to handle the increase in enforcement investigations and its more aggressive approach to supervision.
Last week, the agency won an insider-trading case against Malcolm Calvert, an ex-partner at JP Morgan Chase & Co.'s Cazenove unit. It was the first time that the regulator had successfully tried a finance professional.
"This is the sort of case that the FSA should be bringing in order to achieve effective deterrence," said Angela Hayes, a regulatory lawyer at Mayer Brown in London.
"The FSA is on a roll at the moment. Not only has it upped its employment of people with criminal-prosecution skills, but it is also using senior criminal barristers."
Separately, the FSA said it and the police had contacted 1,000 people on a 'master list' used by scammers in boiler-room schemes, which target investors with high-pressure sales tactics to sell shares that turn out to be very risky or worthless. (Bloomberg)