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FSA fines IT technician for market abuse

The FSA has fined IT technician John Shevlin £85,000 for market abuse, after he traded in The Body Shop International shares off the back of inside information.

Shevlin worked for The Body Shop and on 10 January 2006 he established a short position equivalent to 80,000 Body Shop shares through a Contract for Difference, in effect betting that the share price would fall.

Shevlin closed out his CFD position on 11 January 2006 after The Body Shop announced its Christmas trading results to the market and made a profit of £38,472.

The regulator says Shevlin obtained the inside information by accessing confidential emails of senior executives of The Body Shop.

The emails contained details of The Body Shop’s Christmas trading results and a draft announcement that The Body Shop had underperformed expectations.

FSA director of enforcement Margaret Cole says: “Mr Shevlin deliberately set out to obtain highly sensitive and valuable information to which he was not entitled. He abused the trust placed in him by his employers and misused his technical skills to gain a financial advantage over other market users. Firms must take steps to protect market sensitive information. Where individuals circumvent these protections they should expect to face significant financial or other sanctions, whether or not they are approved by the FSA.”

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The FSA has fined IT technician John Shevlin 85,000 for market abuse after he traded in The Body Shop International shares off the back of inside information.

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