British market regulator the Financial Services Authority (FSA) received a boost in its fight against market abuse when an Ex-Dresdner Bank employee, his Asian wife and a Singaporean accomplice pleaded guilty to eight counts of insider trading charges.
The banker – Christian Littlewood and his wife had already pleaded guilty in April last year. Helmy Omar Sa’aid pleaded guilty to being the third partner in the crime, after reporting restrictions were lifted.
The court had imposed restrictions on reporting the Littlewoods couple’s confession as the FSA sought Sa’aid’s extradition from the French Comoros Islands in the Indian Ocean.
The FSA had initially charged Christian Littlewood – an ex-employee of Dresdner Kleinwort, now part of Commerzbank of Germany, his wife Angie and Sa’aid to 13 counts of insider trading and one count of conspiracy to carry out insider deals in a span of 9 years. Insider trading carries a maximum sentence of seven years in the UK.
The trio traded in LSE and the Alternative Investment Market listed shares of RCO Holdings Plc, Staffware Plc, Highway Insurance Group Plc, Inspace Plc, Bristol Water Group Plc, Viridian Group Plc and South Staffordshire Plc, between 2000 and 2009.
David Gibson-Lee – Sa’aid’s lawyer said his client decided to plead guilty just before Christmas when the FSA produced clinching evidence showing his involvement in insider trading.
“As soon as the evidence was produced that proved he’s guilty, he accepted it”, Gibson-Lee said. Since the FSA started prosecuting people on insider trading charges from 2008, it has successfully won conviction of 10 persons.
If Sa’aid is sentenced to more than a year in prison, he will be deported to Singapore.