UK: FSA Imposes Largest Fine Ever for Insider Trading

Mehmet Sepil, CEO of the Turkish oil company Genel Enerji was fined an unprecedented £967,005 ($1.5 million) for insider trading by the UK Financial Services Authority. This is the largest individual fine ever imposed by the British regulator for market abuse, trumping the record £750,000 ($1.1 million) paid by Phillip Jabre in 2006.

Sepil along with two other Genel Enerji officials, Murat Ozgul and Levent Akca, admitted trading in Heritage shares on the basis of information about positive drilling results that was not yet made public, DealBook reports.

The three officials voluntarily contacted the FSA within months of the trade to make certain admissions about their use of the non-public information, expressing remorse and offering disgorgement of the profits they had made. In return for this early cooperation, and in keeping with its December 2008 leniency policy, the FSA awarded each a 30% discount reducing Sepil’s fine from what otherwise would have been over £1 million.

Read the NYT Dealbook article