Five people linked to a specialist brokers have been charged with insider dealing, the Financial Services Authority said today.
The group includes two former directors and a former senior trader at Blue Index, a small contracts for difference (CFD) firm, which was shut down in May 2009 by the FSA.
The five individuals, including a married couple, face a combined total of 17 counts of insider dealing - trading of a company's stocks with access to non-public information - between October 2006 and February 2008.
Blue Index was founded in 2001 and offered punters CFDs in individual shares, indices, commodities and foreign exchange.
James Sanders, co-owner and a director of Blue Index, and his wife Miranda Sanders have been jointly charged with seven offences of insider dealing relating to trading ahead of seven separate takeover announcements.
Mr Sanders has been separately charged with three offences of disclosing inside information.
In addition, James Sanders together with Christopher Hossain, a senior trader of Blue Index, has been charged with offences of encouraging the firm's clients to trade CFDs in relation to two of the stocks.
Christopher Hossain has also been charged with a further offence of insider dealing ahead of a takeover announcement.
James Swallow, the other co-owner and a director of Blue Index has been charged with three offences of insider dealing relating to his trading ahead of three separate takeover announcements.
Adam Buck, a former employee of Blue Index and close associate of James Sanders, has been charged with one offence of insider dealing relating to his trading ahead of a takeover announcement.
The suspects were all arrested on May 27 last year, and will all appear at City of Westminster Magistrates Court on December 20.
The FSA has stepped up its campaign against insider dealing in recent months. It has successfully prosecuted a number of cases including the former Cazenove broker Malcolm Calvert who was sent to jail for 21 months in March. It has another 11 prosecutions which are set to come to trial over the next 12 months.