Trader jailed for insider dealing to return £3.9m profit

Trader jailed for insider dealing to return £3.9m profit

A trader jailed in 2019 for insider dealing along with a friend who used to work at UBS is expected to hand back £3.9m from the trades. 

A lawyer told a judge on Thursday that Walid Choucair, a former trader jailed for three years in 2019, was giving back money the Financial Conduct Authority said he made from insider trading tips as well as 15 other trades, Bloomberg reported. A confiscation order had not been made at the time of writing. 

The FCA found in 2019 that Mr Choucair’s friend Fabiana Abdel-Malek, a former UBS compliance executive, passed inside information to him so he could make money from her tips. 

The pair were accused of using unregistered pay-as-you-go mobile phones to communicate with each other and regularly changed and swapped SIM cards.  

Ms Abdel-Malek, who left UBS in August 2016, had access to information about potential mergers and acquisitions that UBS was advising on and was accused of passing information on about five proposed takeovers to Mr Choucair during 2013 and 2014.

The pair appealed their convictions alleging insufficient disclosure by the FCA before, during and after the trial. Last month the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeals and found there was no irregularity or unfairness.     

The City watchdog, which started looking into the defendants four years earlier, said when sentencing that the case represented “insider dealing at its most venal”.

In sentencing in 2019, Judge Joanna Korner described Ms Abdel-Malek as a “game keeper” who used the knowledge she gained from her employment “to become an efficient and accomplished poacher”.

She said that Ms Abdel-Malek “committed a gross breach of trust which will affect the reputation of UBS” while she accused Mr Choucair of being motivated by greed. 

The FCA declined to comment. 

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