Insiders escape jail sentence

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The Independent Online
TWO chartered accountants were convicted of insider dealing in London yesterday. But the pair were freed after a judge fined them pounds 1,500 each. The maximum sentence for insider dealing is seven years in prison.

Ian Morrisey, 37, and Lorelie Staines, 39, persuaded others to buy 17,000 shares in Aaronson Brothers, the building products group, before a hostile takeover offer.

Staines' 12,000 shares, bought by her father, Thomas Hicks, were later sold for a pounds 3,000 profit. Morrisey's 5,000 shares were subsequently sold for a pounds 1,500 profit.

Morrisey, of Tasso Road, Hammersmith, west London, and Staines, of Chiltern Road, Richmond, Surrey, both denied the charge.

Inner London Crown Court heard how in July 1990, Glunz, a German wood firm, was planning a hostile offer for Aaronson at 80p a share, a 30p premium.

Morrisey, a chartered accountant with Hope Agar, and Staines, a former chartered accountant with Kidsons Impey, learned of the proposed takeover bid from a friend two weeks before it was announced, said the prosecution counsel Peter Clarke.

The friend, Martin Priddle, who worked for accountants KPMG Peat Marwick, was involved in the deal and 'let the cat out of the bag' at a garden party at Staines' home, said counsel.