The former general counsel of TTP Communications Plc told a jury that he felt “horror” when he discovered his father-in-law had bought 20,000 pounds ($28,000) in TTP stock just before the company was bought by Motorola Inc.
Christopher McQuoid, 40, testified in London today that he never gave his father-in-law, James Melbourne, inside information about the company, and only discovered he had bought TTP stock after the Motorola deal had gone through. McQuoid and Melbourne, 75, are on trial for insider trading.
The case is the first of four criminal trials brought by the Financial Services Authority. Suspicious trades occurred before 29 percent of takeovers in 2007, up from 24 percent in 2005, according to the regulator’s data.
The FSA claims McQuoid told Melbourne about the Motorola offer days before the information was made public in June 2006. Prosecutors allege the men agreed to split the proceeds from the sale of Melbourne’s TTP stock.
McQuoid said today that he was “embarrassed” when Melbourne gave him a check for almost 25,000 pounds in September 2006. Prosecutors say the check was exactly half of the amount from the sale of the TTP stock.
That year McQuoid’s wife had given birth to a son, Melbourne’s first grandchild, he said. McQuoid took out a loan to buy a Lexus SUV as his old car wasn’t suitable as a family vehicle, he said.
The check given to him by Melbourne almost exactly covered the loan he took out for the car, he said. He told the jury that Melbourne had been generous in the past, paying the same amount for his wedding three years earlier.
If convicted, both men face a maximum of seven years in prison.
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