Two-timing ex banker jailed for illegal tips

Michael Bow
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A ROGUE former investment banker who convinced his two girlfriends to trade on insider information he fed them was locked up for two years and eight months yesterday.

Thomas Ammann, 39, leaked insider tips to both of his girlfriends Christina Weckwerth, 44, and Dr Jessica Mang, 30, about his client, Canon, and its planned takeover of Dutch photocopier firm Oce.

The women bought shares in Oce, and when the price subsequently spiked Weckwerth made €1m (£805,000) and Mang, a chiropractor from Surrey, made £29,000. Ammann took half of the profits from each.

Yesterday he was sentenced at Southwark Crown Court having pleaded guilty to two counts of insider dealing and two counts of encouraging insider dealing earlier this year.

His sentence was cut from four years to two years and eight months for an early guilty plea.

Sentencing, Judge Anthony Leonard QC said: “Your activities not only cast a cloud over the particular business that employed you but potentially affects the perception of mergers and acquisitions business within the City as a whole.”

Last month a jury cleared both Mang and Weckwerth of insider dealing following a trial at Southwark Crown Court, after accepting they did not know they were trading on illegal information.

Ammann, who worked in London for Japanese investment bank Mizuho International, had been working on Canon’s takeover of Dutch photocopier firm Oce in late 2008 and early 2009.

He was dating both of the women at the same time when he got them to buy the shares in Oce.

The Financial Services Authority, which brought the case, yesterday said it made no criticism of Mizuho International.

Tracey McDermott, FSA director of enforcement and financial crime, said: “At the time of his arrest Ammann was an FSA approved person with privileged access to inside information. He sought to exploit that position to make easy money.”