December 28, 2020

Insider dealing convictions upheld by UK Court of Appeal

On December 16, 2020, the Criminal Division of the Court of Appeal upheld the insider dealing convictions of Fabiana Abdel-Malek and Walid Choucair, who had appealed their June 2019 convictions on the grounds that insufficient disclosure by the Financial Conduct Authority had rendered the convictions unsafe due to irregularity or unfairness.

Evidence brought forward at trial revealed that Abdel-Malek, who was employed as a senior compliance officer in the London offices of UBS AG, passed information to Choucair, a family friend, about five anticipated mergers or acquisitions, and the latter profited by approximately £1.4 million (approximately $1.87 million) as a consequence of the inside information.  At trial the FCA demonstrated Abdel-Malek’s access to price-sensitive information about the transactions and her decision to print confidential documents prior to meeting with Choucair, and the defendants’ use of pay-as-you-go cellular telephones to make their conversations difficult to trace, among other evidence. 

Abdel-Malek and Choucair were convicted on all five offenses, and sentenced to three years’ imprisonment; they must now begin serving their sentences.  Confiscating proceedings are scheduled against Choucair in January 2021 pursuant to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.  A confiscation order against Abdel-Malek in the amount of £34,194.53  was satisfied in September 2020.

FCA press release | Judgment