Former Morrisons group treasurer and head of tax Paul Coyle has been sentenced to 12 months in prison after pleading guilty to two counts of insider dealing.
In a prosecution brought by the FCA, Coyle has also been ordered to pay £15,000 towards prosecution costs and a £203,234 confiscation order.
Between 24 January and 17 May 2013 Coyle was regularly privy to confidential price sensitive information about Morrison’s ongoing talks regarding a proposed joint venture with Ocado.
He took advantage of this information by trading in Ocado shares between 12 February and 17 May 2013 using two online accounts which were in the name of his partner.
Profits from the dealing exceeded £79,000.
FCA director of enforcement and market oversight Georgina Philippou says: “Coyle committed a serious breach of trust by using the confidential price sensitive information he received as part of his role at Morrisons for his own personal gain.
“Abuse of inside information in this way undermines the integrity of the UK financial markets. We are committed to prosecuting insider dealing to ensure our markets remain a ‘level playing field’ for all participants.”