An investment banker has been sentenced to over two years in prison for insider dealing.
Thomas Ammann, who worked for Mizuho International has today been sentenced at Southwark Crown Court to two years and eight months imprisonment for two counts of insider dealing and two counts of encouraging insider dealing.
But for an early guilty plea the sentence would have been one of four years.
In late 2008 and 2009 Mizuho was advising technology company Canon on its acquisition of Océ, a medium sized Dutch company.
The Financial Services Authority (FSA) said Ammann had access to inside price sensitive information relating to the takeover.
Rather than dealing in his own name, Ammann encouraged two women, Christina Weckwerth and Jessica Mang, to buy shares of Océ prior to the acquisition being announced.
Following the announcement of the acquisition the women sold their shares for a profit, which they then shared with Ammann.
In November Mang and Weckwerth were acquitted of one count of insider dealing.
Ammann made several hundred thousand pounds. Confiscation and cost orders will be dealt with at a later date.
Judge Leonard said: ‘Your actions had significant impact on public confidence in the integrity of the market at a time that the city is held in increasingly low esteem …. Your activities not only cast a cloud over the particular business that employed you but potentially affects the perception of mergers and acquisitions business within the city as a whole.’
Tracey McDermott, Financial Services Authority (FSA) director of enforcement and financial crime, said: ‘At the time of his arrest Ammann was an FSA approved person with privileged access to inside information. He sought to exploit that position to make easy money. This sort of behaviour by city professionals not only brings the individual into disrepute but also damages the reputation and standing of the financial services industry as a whole.’
The FSA makes no criticism of Mizuho.