Ex-Morrisons treasurer is charged over insider trades

 

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The Independent Online

Morrisons’ former group treasurer and head of tax has been charged with insider dealing over trades in Ocado shares which were made around the time the supermarket announced a tie-up with the online grocer.

Morrisons attempted to distance itself from the fallout with management claiming they were satisfied that company procedures were followed properly during secret negotiations with Ocado prior to the deal being revealed in May last year.

Paul Coyle was arrested in January and will now appear at Harrogate Magistrates Court at the end of October, where the case is likely to be referred to the Crown Court.

The two charges announced by the Financial Conduct Authority relate to trades made in February and May 2013, at a time when Ocado shares soared more than 150 per cent, including a 36 per cent jump on the day the deal was confirmed.

 

The company said in a statement: “Morrisons is satisfied with its governance and procedures concerning the handling of market sensitive data in this case and found that the company’s procedures had been properly followed.

“These accusations, if proven, would be the result of an individual acting alone.”

Insider trading rules carry a maximum sentence of seven years in jail or a hefty fine. The Financial Conduct Authority and its predecessor, the Financial Services Authority, have  so far secured 24 convictions for insider dealing.

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