FSA cheers as trio admit insider deals

City A.M. Reporter
A FORMER Dresdner Kleinwort banker, his wife and a Singaporean man have pleaded guilty to eight counts of insider dealing, allowing City watchdog the FSA to claim its latest victory in a crackdown on market abuse.

Helmy Omar Sa’aid, 34, yesterday appeared at Southwark Crown Court to admit to being the third member of a nine-year insider dealing scam that involved British banker Christian Littlewood and his wife Angie.

The couple were arrested last March and had already pleaded guilty, but court reporting restrictions were only lifted yesterday.

The trio are due to be sentenced in early February.

In a move that underlines its determination to crack down on market abuse, the Financial Services Authority secured its first extradition of a suspect from abroad after Sa’aid refused to return from the Comoros Islands in the Pacific Ocean to face trial.

Littlewood, who once worked for Dresdner Kleinwort, his wife and Sa’aid were initially charged with 13 counts of insider dealing and one count of conspiracy to commit insider dealing in London-listed shares over eight years.

The three are alleged to have made around £590,000 profit by trading illegally in takeover candidates such as water group South Staffordshire between 2000 and 2008.

Margaret Cole, the FSA’s managing director of enforcement and financial crime, said: “It seems that the penny is beginning to drop. These guilty pleas show that our strategy of a tough approach to insider dealing – and, in particular, demonstrating that we are prepared to fight difficult criminal prosecutions to trial – is paying off.”