Julian Rifat, a former trader at Moore Capital Management LLC, faces eight insider-dealing charges over trades in companies including Barclays Plc (BARC) and Volkswagen AG (VOW), making him one of the most-high profile suspects to face prosecution in a U.K. investigation.
The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority filed a summons ordering Rifat to appear at a London criminal court on Jan. 29 to be charged, according to a clerk at Westminster Magistrates Court who requested anonymity in line with court policy.
Rifat, “having information as an insider, dealt in securities that were price-affected securities in relation to the information by acting as a professional intermediary” at eight different companies in 2009, including Iberdrola SA (IBE), Segro Plc (SGRO) and Metro AG (MEO), the clerk said, reading from the charge sheet. The number of counts can be changed at any time, he said.
Rifat, who was arrested nearly four years ago, will be the ninth person to face charges in the investigation, dubbed Operation Tabernula. The probe is part of the U.K. authority’s move to step up its efforts to prosecute insider trading in the wake of the financial crisis. The agency hadn’t brought an insider-trading case before 2008.
Malcolm Calvert, a former partner at JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM:US)’s Cazenove unit, was the first conviction of a finance worker for insider trading by the regulator in 2010. Former Dresdner Kleinwort banker Christian Littlewood was also prosecuted for insider trading by the FCA’s predecessor, the Financial Services Authority, and imprisoned for 40 months.
Rifat was an execution trader in the London office of Moore Capital, a New York-based firm that oversees about $12 billion. He was taken into custody in 2010 on his 41st birthday and has been under investigation since. Rifat’s lawyer didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Eight other men have been charged in the probe, including Deutsche Bank AG managing director Martyn Dodgson. One of the men, Iraj Parvizi, a former director at Aria Capital Ltd., pleaded not guilty in December. Dodgson and Parvizi’s case is being heard with Grant Harrison, a former managing director at Altium Capital Ltd., Benjamin Anderson, Andrew Hind and Richard Baldwin. The other five haven’t entered pleas.
Graeme Shelley, an independent stockbroker, and Paul Milsom, a former Legal & General Group Plc (LGEN) equities trader, have also been charged. A 10th suspect, Clive Roberts, who was the head of European sales trading at Exane BNP Paribas, hasn’t been charged.
The FSA said at the time of the first arrests in the case that it believed “city professionals passed inside information to traders -- either directly or via middlemen -- who traded on this information and have made significant profits.”
At a private hearing in November over Rifat’s assets, a judge told the FCA to decide whether it was going to charge Rifat by Jan. 10, a person with knowledge of the case said earlier this month. A person facing prosecution is usually issued a summons to attend court or a police station before they are charged.
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