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FSA fines two individuals for market abuse

The Financial Services Authority has fined two individuals almost £20,000 for selling shares after receiving insider information on the stock prior to a public announcement.

Mr Stewart McKegg and Mr Brian Valentine Taylor were fined £14,411.25 and £4,642.50 respectively on the grounds of market abuse.

In both cases this was the disgorgement of profits made on transactions where they had inside information. The FSA said If it were not for their financial circumstances both would have been fined an additional £20,000.

Mr McKegg and Mr Taylor were private investors in Amerisur Resources Plc, formerly known as Chaco Resources Plc. They were individually contacted by Amerisur’s broker on May 23 2007 to inform them confidentially of a placing of Amerisur shares to be announced the following day at a substantial discount to the market price.

Both committed market abuse by selling some or all of their existing shareholding prior to the public announcement of the placement. They both then rebuilt their position in Amerisur stock by subscribing for discounted shares in the placing.

FSA’s enforcement division head of wholesale Tracey McDermott says: “Mr Taylor and Mr McKegg were given privileged access to information about the placing because they already held shares in the company. They took advantage of that information by selling existing shares, despite knowing that they must not do so. They made a profit from other, unwitting, shareholders who did not have that information.

“Retail investors who are given inside information must observe, like any other market participant, the responsibilities this information brings”.

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