On June 27, 2019, the UK Financial Conduct Authority announced the conviction of two individuals for five insider dealing offenses, following an eleven-week trial. The evidence produced at trial revealed that Fabiana Abdel-Malek, using her position as senior compliance officer at the London office of the investment bank UBS AG, acquired confidential and valuable information about the proposed takeovers of five companies, and passed the information to her friend, Walid Anis Choucair, an experienced day trader of financial securities. Choucair used the information to trade in shares of the target companies, profiting by approximately £1.4 million over the course of one year. Abdel-Malek and Choucair communicated using unregistered pay-as-you-go mobile phones, changing their numbers regularly and conducting the trades through an account held by a company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands with a trading address in Switzerland.
Both Abdel-Malek and Choucair were sentenced to three years’ imprisonment. At sentencing, HHJ Korner CMG QC said, “In these cases there has to be an element of deterrence, it is vital that these kind of offences are deterred by the knowledge that if they are committed and you are convicted, there is an inevitable sentence of imprisonment.” The FCA intends to pursue confiscation orders against both defendants.