Insider-dealing ring at UBS and JP Morgan facing jail

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The Independent Online

Six men were facing jail terms yesterday after being found guilty of insider dealing in a ring where employees in the print rooms at UBS and JP Morgan passed on secret takeover deal documents to their trader friends.

Brothers Ersin and Ali Mustafa passed on price-sensitive information from their printing work, downloading confidential information on to memory sticks for friends who used the information to make spread bets on share prices of the companies involved.

The men made their bets knowing the share prices would rise when the stolen information was made public.

The four-and-a-half-month trial was the longest and most complex prosecution brought by the Financial Services Authority (FSA), involving evidence from hundreds of trading accounts and telephone records.

The men were convicted of making a profit of £732,044 over a two-year period from May 2006. The FSA had prepared further charges but the judge ruled they should not be heard for trial-management reasons – effectively to save the public money on an even longer hearing.

Most of the men's trading was done through the City Index spread-betting house, often in the names of friends and family in the hope of disguising the suspicious activity.

During the trial, Ali, who worked at UBS, described his older brother, Ersin, as "a wheeler dealer... always looking for the extra buck".

Ersin, who was at JP Morgan, is currently believed to be in north Cyprus, where the brothers have family.

Ali, pictured, originally tried to blame other colleagues in the UBS print room but analysis of his computer proved he was definitely the culprit.

Ali faces up to seven years in jail when he is sentenced this Friday. The other men involved were Pardip Saini, former investment adviser Paresh Shah, Neten Shah, Bijal Shah and Truptesh Patel.

Tracey McDermott of the FSA, said: "The defendants were involved in a long-running, sophisticated and very profitable scheme."