Former BlackRock manager handed a 12-month sentence for insider dealing

Hayley Kirton
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Mark Lyttleton pleaded guilty earlier this year (Source: Getty)

An ex-BlackRock fund manager has today been sentenced to 12 months after pleading guilty to two counts of insider dealing in November.

Mark Lyttleton, aged 45 and a former equity portfolio manager for BlackRock Investment Management (UK), was claimed to have used information he obtained from his job to purchase shares shortly before public announcements were made.

The two stocks Lyttleton traded using his insider knowledge were EnCore Oil, between 1 and 13 October 2011, and Cairn Energy, between 4 November and 17 December 2011. Lyttleton used an overseas asset manager trading on behalf of a Panamanian registered company to carry out his transactions.

In his sentencing remarks, Justice Goymer said: "Insider dealing is not a victimless crime, I regard these offences as pre-meditated and blatantly dishonest."

A count of insider dealing carries a maximum sentence of seven years.

The former fund manager was formally charged by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in September this year, after being initially arrested at his West London home in 2013.

"Lyttleton's insider dealing involved a gross abuse of the trust placed in him as a senior fund manager," said Mark Steward, executive director of enforcement and market oversight at the FCA. "He tried to hide his misconduct through the use of unregistered mobile phones and setting up a company in his wife’s maiden name in an overseas jurisdiction.

"None of this meant he could avoid detection. Those who are tempted to insider deal, especially financial industry professionals, must know now they are more likely to be caught than ever before and, when caught, they will likely face a custodial sentence."

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