Former TTP GC guilty of insider dealing

The former general counsel of technology company TTP Communications has been found guilty of insider trading in the first insider dealing criminal prosecution brought by the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

The former general counsel of technology company TTP Communications has been found guilty of insider trading in the first insider dealing criminal prosecution brought by the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

Southwark Crown Court found Christopher McQuoid had passed inside information about TPP’s acquisition by Motorola to his father-in-law James Melbourne in May 2006, when he was still legal head at the company.

McQuoid had been told in confidence about the takeover and, two days before it was made public, Melbourne bought over 150,000 TTP shares at 13p each. Melbourne had never bought TPP shares before then and had not been active in the market for some time.

When the deal was announced in June 2006 TPP’s share price rose to 45p resulting in a profit for Melbourne of almost £49,000.

Three months later Melbourne gave McQuoid a cheque for half that amount.

FSA director of enforcement Margaret Cole said: “By pursuing a criminal prosecution in this case the FSA has shown that we’ll take tough action to achieve our aim of credible deterrence in the financial markets.”

McQuoid’s solicitor, Crowell & Moring partner Gerallt Owen, said he would be appealing the decision.

Owen said: “We’re very disappointed with the jury’s majority verdict and are actively considering and anticipate submitting an appeal on behalf of Mr McQuoid.”

McQuoid is now general counsel at Nottingham-based textiles company Courtaulds.