In the UK, an unprecedented series of criminal prosecutions for insider trading is about to begin with the trial of Timothy Power, former senior executive of Belgo Group, the restaurant operator. The Times Online reports that Power and his co-defendant Euan Carlisle face a maximum of seven years in jail if convicted of taking advantage of inside information relating to Belgo Group’s £9.8 million takeover by Lonsdale Holdings in 1997. If Power and Carlisle plead not guilty and the trial goes forward, “then, for the first time in four years, a jury will be sworn in and asked to decide the fate of alleged insider dealers” according to the Times Online.
No fewer than five criminal insider trading cases are expected to go forward in 2009. This is highly unusual in the UK, as such cases are very rare. Tom Epps, a business crime partner in law firm RJW said that to have “five under way simultaneously is a watershed moment in the prosecution of financial crime.”
The Times Online reports that in addition to the Power case, the FSA may bring the following criminal insider trading cases to trial this year:
– Christopher McQuoid, former general counsel of TTP Communications, and James Melbourne, his father-in-law, accused of one count relating to TTP Communications. Trial, February 24
– Neel and Mathew Uberoi, father and son, accused of 17 counts relating to multiple companies. Trial, June
– Malcolm Calvert, former partner in Cazenove, accused of 12 counts relating to multiple companies. Trial, September
– Neil Rollins, of Keighley, West Yorkshire, accused of five counts of insider dealing and four of money laundering relating to PM Group. Trial expected late 2009