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Insider trading conviction for ex UBS compliance officer upheld, says watchdog

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FILE PHOTO: The logo of the new Financial Conduct Authority in the Canary Wharf business district of London

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Appeal Court has upheld the convictions of ex UBS executive Fabiana Abdel-Malek and day trader Walid Choucair for insider dealing and ordered them to return to prison to complete their sentences, the Financial Conduct Authority said on Wednesday.

After an FCA investigation and a trial at Southwark Crown Court in June 2019, former UBS compliance officer Abdel-Malik, and her friend Choucair were each convicted of five offences of insider dealing and were sentenced to 3 years’ imprisonment.

Abdel-Malek searched UBS’s compliance system and used disposable SIM cards and cheap and disposable “burner” cellphones to pass secrets to Choucair about five takeovers between June 2013 and June 2014, the FCA said.

Choucair made 1.4 million pounds ($1.9 million) in profit from trading that was subject to the five charges, it added.

"I welcome the Court’s decision to dismiss these appeals as well as the Court’s finding that there was no irregularity or unfairness in the proceedings," said Mark Steward, executive director of enforcement and market oversight at the FCA.

"Ms Abdel-Malek and Mr Choucair must now complete their sentences of imprisonment. They are now required to surrender to custody to serve the remainder of their sentences."

Abdel-Malek has met a confiscation order for 34,194 pounds in full, and confiscation proceedings against Choucair will take place next month, the FCA said.

($1 = 0.7414 pounds)

(Reporting by Huw Jones; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle and Jan Harvey)