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Former AKO trader pleads guilty in court

ANJAM AHMAD, the former AKO Capital dealer, has pleaded guilty in court to insider trading, making him the first person to admit to the offence.

His plea was heard yesterday in front of the Southwark Crown Court and marked a pivotal moment for the Financial Services Authority (FSA) since the regulator’s enforcement director Margaret Cole launched an aggressive campaign to crack down on insider dealing rings in the City.

Ahmad, who is currently faced with a seven-year jail term, will learn his fate late next month when the court will set his sentence.

For co-operating with the FSA and pleading guilty at an early stage, the judge could hand down a reduced sentence but no decision has been made.

The FSA charged Ahmad last month with insider trading relating to trades involving 22 different transactions between June and August last year. He was arrested on 28 January along with three other men. The FSA said inquiries into the other three men’s actions are still pending.

Ahmad is one of a number of City figures within the last year to face a jail sentence for insider trading.

Christopher McQuoid and James Melbourne, who were the first to end up in jail as a result of the offence, were each sentenced to eight months in jail last March. Melbourne’s jail time had been suspended for 12 months because of his age.

Late last year father and son duo, Matthew and Neel Uberoi, were sent to jail after being found guilty of 12 counts of insider trading.

Most recently former Cazenove partner Malcolm Calvert was sentenced to 21 months in jail in March for insider trading.