Jessica Mang and Christina Weckwerth were, unknown to each other, the girlfriends of Thomas Ammann. Today they were found not guilty of insider dealing. Mr Ammann was found guilty of two counts of insider dealing and two counts of encouraging insider dealing. The tone of the FSA’s press release suggests disappointment at the acquittal of the girfriends:
“In a prosecution brought by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) Thomas Ammann has pleaded guilty to two counts of insider dealing and two counts of encouraging insider dealing. Ammann will be sentenced on a date to be confirmed.
Two others, Jessica Mang and Christina Weckwerth, were today acquitted of one count of insider dealing each after a trial heard at Southwark Crown Court.
Thomas Ammann was an investment banker working at Mizuho International plc (MIP). In late 2008 and 2009 MIP was advising Canon, the multi-national technology company, on its acquisition of Océ, a medium sized Dutch company making photocopiers, scanners, related software and accessories. Ammann was one of the very small team at MIP working on the acquisition and had access to inside price sensitive information.
Ammann passed information to Weckwerth and Mang and encouraged them to trade in the shares of Océ prior to the acquisition being announced. Both considered Ammann to be their boyfriend and had no idea of the existence of the other. Following the announcement of the acquisition of Océ both Weckwerth and Mang sold their shares for a substantial profit. Weckwerth made Eur 1 million and Mang £29,000 and both shared half their profits with Ammann.
Tracey McDermott, director of enforcement and financial crime, said:
“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. Criminal prosecutions are integral to the FSA’s long term strategy of delivering credible deterrence and combating city wrongdoing.””