Banker gets 18 months, the girls walk
25 September, 2013
Thomas Ammann, the former Mizuho International Plc banker sentenced to 32 months in prison for giving inside information on deals to two of his girlfriends, must repay 94,568 pounds ($151,621), a judge ruled today.
Ammann, a German citizen who worked on the Mizuho team advising Canon Inc. (7751) on its 2009 takeover of OCE NV, agreed to repay the profits from crime within 14 days to the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority.
Ammann pleaded guilty to insider trading and encouraging the women to commit insider trading in 2012 and will serve half of the 32-month sentence. Jessica Mang and Christina Weckwerth were cleared of trading on illegal tips from him following a London trial that ended in November. Mang and Weckwerth nearly doubled the amount they invested trading on the tips and then paid half their profits to Ammann, the FCA said during their trial. Ammann tried to avoid getting caught by having his girlfriends, who didn’t know the banker was involved with them both simultaneously, make the trade. . If he fails to make the payment he could face another 18 months in jail.
Troubles came to a head last fall when reports surfaced that PricewaterhouseCoopers, Promontory Financial and other firms were paid nearly $2 billion by banks to examine shoddy mortgage files. The banks were supposed to pay out millions of dollars to borrowers for flawed foreclosure practices. In spite of the consultants’ hefty payday, not a single penny of relief reached the homeowners.
Promontory determined that Standard Chartered Bank had illicitly funneled about $14 million to Iran. The sum fell well short of the assessment by the New York financial regulator, which accused the bank of processing at least $250 billion in illicit transactions.
In the case of PricewaterhouseCoopers, the department is investigating the firm’s review of foreign transactions processed by the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ from 2002 and 2007. In June, the Japanese bank agreed to pay $250 million to settle New York charges that it cleared some 28,000 transactions totaling $100 billion for countries facing U.S. sanctions, including Iran, Sudan and Burma.
Before the settlement was reached, the person familiar with the case said the department requested e-mails, draft reports and other correspondences from PricewaterhouseCoopers. The firm is cooperating with the state regulator, according to the source.