James Sanders, who owned and was a director of now-defunct brokerage Blue Index, his wife Miranda, and James Swallow, a Blue Index co-director, last month pleaded guilty to a combined 18 counts of insider dealing between October 2006 and February 2008.
James Sanders, dubbed by Judge Peregrine Simon as “the driving force behind the criminality”, was jailed for a record four years. Miranda Sanders – who was tipped off about imminent takeovers by her sister in the US – was jailed for 10 months, as was Swallow.
The couple saw their sentences cut by 25 per cent after pleading guilty, although James initially argued his trades were legitimate.
“This was a case of systematic abuse by approved people of their privileged position in the market – we are determined to stamp out such abuse,” said Tracey McDermott, acting head of enforcement at the Financial Services Authority.