Banker Gets Record Prison Sentence

(ANTIMEDIA) United Kingdom — A senior investment banker has been slapped with the U.K.’s longest-ever prison sentence for insider trading. On Wednesday, Martyn Dodgson was convicted of conspiring to deal secretly in company shares. He was sentenced to four-and-a-half years at London’s Southwark Crown Court for what was described as “highly sophisticated” offenses. His accomplice and friend, Andrew Hind, received three-and-a-half years in the case, which involved five defendants — three of whom were acquitted.

Insider dealing uses confidential information to trade on the stock market, and the economic offence carries a maximum seven-year sentence in the U.K., though the longest sentence handed out to date had previously been four years. The judge said the two men’s offences amounted to “persistent, prolonged, deliberate and dishonest behaviour,” and it is estimated the duo netted £7.4 million from their activities.

During the period covered by the indictment, Dodgson was employed by Morgan Stanley, Lehman Brothers, and Deutsche Bank. After sourcing inside information within the investment banks — either through transactions he worked on himself or by gleaning what colleagues were working on — he then passed the information to Hind, who acted as middleman and traded in shares for both men’s benefit.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) accused the senior investment banker and chartered accountant of using elaborate strategies to keep their activities under wraps. These included unregistered mobile phones, encoded and encrypted records, safety deposit boxes, and cash payments.

The sentences drew a line under “Operation Tabernula,” an investigation by the FCA that began in 2007. Described as the FCA’s largest and most complex insider dealing investigation, it is said to have cost £14 million; officials called it demanding and time-consuming.

Dodgson is one of the most senior figures ever to be charged with insider dealing in the U.K. Although the banker’s sentence is higher than any imposed to date, some might consider it pitiful considering the two men stole more than £7 million.

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