Banker's cheated lovers cleared of insider trading

Lewis Smith
Friday 16 November 2012 01:00

Two women have been cleared of insider trading despite making hundreds of thousands of pounds from information leaked to them by their two-timing banker boyfriend.

Christina Weckwerth and Jessica Mang were both persuaded by their boyfriend Thomas Ammann to buy shares in the Dutch photocopy company Oce, which he knew was about to be taken over by Canon.

Ms Weckwerth, from Germany, made nearly £2m while Dr Mang, of London, netted £60,000. Both gave half to Ammann, but neither woman knew of the existence of the other.

Ammann admitted two charges of insider trading but both women were cleared of one count of insider trading after telling Southwark Crown Court they had no idea the information was confidential.

Dr Mang, a chiropractor, told the jury she had followed Ammann's advice in November last year because she wanted to "show him trust" to take their relationship further. In a diary entry at the time she said she wasn't bothered by the money, she just wanted his love. She resisted his attempts to get her to borrow up to £200,000 to invest in the shares.

Ms Weckwerth invested much of the money she had from a substantial divorce settlement in order to buy the Oce shares from May to November 2011. She is expected to be able to keep the money she earned from the shares, while Dr Mang can keep the £30,000 she made.

Ammann, of London, learned of the takeover of Oce because he was an investment banker working on the mergers and acquisitions team at Mizuho International, a Japanese bank. He admitted the offences in July and is expected to be sentenced later this year.

Amanda Pinto QC, for the prosecution, said Ammann had no money of his own to invest but had "specific, confidential information".

Tracey McDermott, director of enforcement and financial crime at the Financial Services Authority, said outside court: "As an approved person Ammann knew he could not deal using the inside information he had without arousing suspicion but he thought that by getting his girlfriends to trade instead they could avoid being caught.

"He was wrong, and he now faces the consequences.

"The charges against Weckwerth and Mang were serious and we considered that the evidence provided a proper basis to put the case before a jury for them to decide."

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