In the summer of 2009, Jessica Mang, far left, met an investment banker named Thomas Ammann at a nightclub in London. Both liked what they saw and started seeing each other "at least once a week," on days he wasn't with his other girlfriend, Christina Weckwerth. Things were going well, but by November, Mang wanted more. So when Ammann said he was going to take her on a romantic getaway to Seychelles, and all she had to do first was use her own money to trade on material non-public information he'd obtained from his job at Mizuho International about Canon’s purchase of OCE NV and then give him half the profits, she jumped at the chance. Not only did he want to go away with her (huge!) but he was entrusting her with such an important project (huger!); Mang had read all the dating books and knew that if a guy asked you to violate securities laws, it meant things were getting serious.
“He basically said that I show him that I trust him -- I invest the money, he still hadn’t specified how -- once that’s done, we’ll go on holiday in the Seychelles,” Mang said today at a London criminal court. “I thought that was a massive leap in commitment.” She said Ammann told her if she didn’t do it, “he didn’t want to be with me anymore.”
She wrote in her diary that Ammann advised her to invest. Mang bought OCE shares and then sold them five days later for almost twice what she invested, the FSA said. “I thought, you know, this is a relationship that’s going to go somewhere, I definitely thought we were exclusive as well,” Mang said. “It wasn’t just sleeping together, in my mind we were definitely boyfriend-girlfriend from the start.” Ammann suggested that she should invest so they could build a future together, which she said she thought was a “very sweet and considerate thing he was doing.”
Update 11/15/12: Questions that remain unanswered at this time:
1) When Ammann asked Weckworth to insider trade on his behalf (in April 2009), did he dangle a vacation in her face, too? Did she agree to the deal because she also thought it was indication wedding bells weren’t far off, or was she just in it for the financial gain?
2) Under what circumstances* this misunderstanding could possibly occur:
Mang said she didn’t know what due diligence was and “thought it was just a cute nickname he had for me.”
If you have any ideas, we’re all ears.
Ex-Banker’s Girlfriend Says Trades on Tips Showed Trust [Bloomberg]
Earlier: Girlfriend Insider Trading On Two-Timing Boyfriend’s Behalf Found Roommate’s Judgment A Little Uncalled For
Related (re: breaking the law for your boyfriend because he promises to take you on vacation): What To Do (Or Not Do) Upon Waking Up In A Car “Driving Through A House,” Part II