Insider trading couple ordered to hand £1.5m proceeds to FSA

A HUSBAND and wife insider dealing team were yesterday ordered to pay more than £1.5m to the Financial Services Authority (FSA) in one of the biggest cases of its kind.

Former Dresdner Kleinwort banker Christian Littlewood and his wife Angie Littlewood pleaded guilty to eight accounts of insider dealing at a hearing in 2010.

They admitted making a £590,000 profit from offences committed between 2000 and 2008, assisted by family friend Helmy Omar Sa’aid. But yesterday’s confiscation order was substantially higher as the court assumed that all other trading that they undertook within the same period represented the proceeds of crime.

Tony Woodcock, a partner at law firm Stephenson Harwood, told City A.M. that the hefty punishment was part of the FSA’s tough approach to insider trading.

“What they derived from the illegal contact was a substantial number of shares which the court is entitled to confiscate, not just the profit.

“Over the last four years the FSA has been more aggressive in relation to insider trading, prosecuting it as a criminal offence rather than using the civil process of market abuse.”

A previous confiscation order for £640,000 from Sa’aid brings the total seized to £2.17m, the FSA’s biggest haul for an insider dealing case

Christian Littlewood had been earning around £1.5m a year from his day job and the couple had bought a number of houses in Hampstead.

But in February 2011 he was jailed for 40 months after admitting the offences. His wife received a suspended sentence for the sake of their children. Mr Littlewood was released in May this year after serving 15 months.