Jessica Mang, who traded material non-public information based on tips obtained by her Mizuho investment banker boyfriend, Thomas Ammann, because he promised to take her on vacation afterward and also because she thought his entrusting her with such a high level task was a sign he wanted to get serious, was cleared by a jury today, as was Christina Weckwerth, Thomas Ammann’s other girlfriend/execution trader.
The women nearly doubled the amount they invested and then paid half of their profits to Ammann, the U.K. Financial Services Authority, which prosecuted the case, had said during the trial in London. Neither woman knew Ammann was dating the other simultaneously. Ammann, a German national who worked on the Mizuho mergers and acquisitions team that advised Canon on the OCE deal, pleaded guilty earlier this year to insider trading and encouraging Mang and Weckwerth to commit insider trading. Canon, the Tokyo-based maker of cameras and photocopiers, agreed to buy OCE in a 730 million-euro ($931.8 million) deal in November 2009. The FSA said that Ammann tried to avoid being caught by having his girlfriends make the trades. “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,” Tracey McDermott, the regulator’s director of enforcement and financial crime, said in a statement.
Weckwerth, who has British and Cypriot citizenship, took in nearly 2 million pounds ($3.2 million) after investing 1 million euros before the deal in 2009, the FSA said at trial. She argued that she bought shares of OCE only after she researched Ammann’s recommendation. Mang, who got back 65,000 pounds on a 39,000-pound stake, said she bought the shares at Ammann’s request because she wanted to show him that she trusted him and was trying to build their relationship.
Follow-up questions that need answering:
* Did the ladies, who hadn’t known about the other’s existence until they were tried alongside one another over a four week period, become friends?
* Will they buy something nice for themselves with the profits they were allowed to keep?
* What are the odds Jessica “ma petite due diligénce” Mang will go out with Ammann again if he calls? High to pretty high?