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'Love triangle' banker behind bars after guilty insider dealing verdict

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'Love triangle' banker behind bars after guilty insider dealing verdict

'Love triangle' investment banker Thomas Ammann has been sentenced to two years and eight months in jail for his role in the Mizuho International insider dealing scam.

Earlier this year the former banker was found guilty of two counts of insider dealing and two counts of encouraging insider dealing, and was sentenced today at Southwark Crown Court.

Although Ammann failed to escape prison he was given a reduced sentenced for entering an early guilty plea, without which he would have faced four years behind bars.

In the case brought against Ammann by the Financial Services Authority it was heard that the banker was working at Mizuho International where in late 2008 and 2009 it advised Canon, the multi-national technology company, on its acquisition of Océ, a medium-sized Dutch company making photocopiers and scanners.

At an earlier hearing the court heard that by virtue of his employment at the firm, Ammann had access to inside price sensitive information linked to the takeover and used this for his own gain.

But 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 and shared the proceeds with Ammann. 

Ammann made several hundred thousand of pounds as a result of his scam.

In passing sentence His Honour Judge Leonard QC 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.

The judge added: 'An honest shareholder who tries to read the market is offended by someone like you who can put aside skill and research by relying on information you are barred from using.'

Tracey McDermott, director of enforcement and financial crime at the FSA, added: '[Ammann] sought to exploit his 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. We are determined to stamp this out.'

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