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Insider dealer jailed for eight months

A former general counsel to telecoms company TTP Communications was today jailed for three months in connection with a long-running insider dealing investigation. This is a story we covered a few days ago whereby the solicitor allegedly passed on confidential information regarding TTP Complications to his father-in-law. His father-in-law then acquired shares in the business crystallising a substantial profit of £48,000 when the company was taken over.

This is actually a watershed in the history of the FSA with insider trading a very difficult subject to police and a very difficult subject to bring the court. This is the first jail sentence handed out to an Insider Trader since the inception of the FSA in 1997 and there are rumours of further court cases in the offing. The eight-month sentence for the solicitor will send out a warning to those considering this illegal activity, although the eight-month suspended sentence against the father-in-law was a little disappointing.

It will be interesting to see how this first conviction impacts upon future insider dealing cases and whether, as hoped, it serves as a warning to others. Contrary to popular belief, insider trading is not a victimless crime as it serves to undermine confidence in the overall UK stock market which impacts upon everyone in the UK.

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