On November 15, the FSA issued a press release stating that Thomas Amman, formerly an investment banker at Mizuho International plc, has pleaded guilty to two counts of insider dealing and two counts of encouraging insider dealing. Mr. Amman will be sentenced at a later date. Two associates were acquitted of one count of insider dealing each, following a trial at Southwark Crown Court.
The offences related to trading in the shares of Océ, a Dutch company, which in late 2008 and 2009 was in the process of being acquired by Canon. Mr. Amman was part of a small team advising Canon on the acquisition and therefore had price sensitive information about Océ. Knowing that he could not trade in the shares himself, Mr. Amman encouraged his two associates to trade in the shares prior to the acquisition being announced.
The conviction is the 21st insider dealing conviction for the FSA. A further 5 prosecutions are currently ongoing, indicating the FSA’s increased focus on this area.