April 15, 2024
Husband makes Rs 14 crore profit in stock trading by eavesdropping on wife’s WFH calls

The husband of a former BP manager is facing jail and divorce after admitting to profiting from stock trades he made based on information he heard during his wife’s calls while she had been working from home for the energy giant.

Tyler Loudon, 42, pleaded guilty to securities fraud in Houston federal court and has agreed to hand over the $1.7 million in ill-gotten gains he raked in.

Authorities say his wife was not aware of the trades.

“We allege that Loudon took advantage of his remote working conditions and his wife’s trust to profit from information he knew was confidential,” said Eric Werner, regional director of the SEC’s Fort Worth Regional Office. “The SEC remains committed to prosecuting such malfeasance.”

Loudon faces as much as five years behind bars and a maximum $250,000 fine. 

According to the SEC’s complaint, Loudon’s wife was working as a mergers and acquisitions manager with BP when she was assigned to work on the international oil company’s planned purchase of truck stop operator TravelCenters of America. 

Authorities said that Loudon bought 46,450 TravelCenters shares without his wife’s knowledge over a 1.5-month period after overhearing several work conversations about the planned $1.3 billion TravelCenters takeover while she was working remotely.

TravelCenters’ share price rose 71% after the takeover was announced on February 16, 2023, and Loudon quickly sold his shares, authorities said.

According to the SEC, Loudon told his wife that he had bought the shares to make enough money that she could work shorter hours. The SEC said BP later put Loudon’s wife on administrative leave and then fired her despite finding no proof that she had knowingly leaked the takeover or known about her husband’s trading. The woman has reportedly filed for divorce.

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