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Last updated: October 16, 2012 10:16 pm
Two women almost doubled their money after allegedly receiving sensitive information from an investment banker whom both considered their boyfriend, a court has been told.
A jury at Southwark Crown Court heard on Tuesday that Jessica Mang, 30, and Christina Weckwerth, 44, were both in a relationship with Thomas Ammann, 39, and they “had no idea of the existence of the other”.
Opening the prosecution case for the Financial Services Authority, Amanda Pinto QC told the court that Mr Ammann, a German national, worked in the M&A team for Mizuho investment bank in London and had access to sensitive information through his work including on the takeover of Dutch company Océ by Canon, the court was told.
Ms Weckwerth invested €1m and got back €2m from her share purchases before the deal in 2009 and Ms Mang made £60,000, prosecutors allege. Both women deny allegations of insider trading relating to Océ stock.
Ms Pinto, opening the case, told the jury that Mr Ammann was “paid a very considerable salary” but “lived beyond his means and had no spare cash” living in rented accommodation in London.
The court was told Mr Ammann could not trade in Océ shares and so used the women to “provide not only money” – which he did not have – but also as “the cover” which the prosecution has alleged made it “harder to trace where and from whom the insider information” originated.
“These two women managed to almost double their money by trading in just one stock,” Ms Pinto told the court.
The court was told that Mr Ammann met Ms Weckwerth, a divorcee living in Frankfurt, who has dual British and Cypriot nationality, through an internet dating agency in April 2008.
The court was told she had been given a “substantial and generous divorce settlement” of €1.7m, part of which she invested conservatively but her pattern of buying Océ shares was “exceptional for her”, the court heard.
Ms Mang, who ran a chiropractic clinic, met Mr Ammann in a nightclub in July 2009. She borrowed money from her mother and on credit cards to fund her purchase of Océ shares, the court was told.
Both Ms Weckwerth and Ms Mang paid 50 per cent of their profits to Mr Ammann, the jury heard.
“Why would either do that if he was not responsible for providing the information,” Ms Pinto told the court adding: “Why is he not in the dock before you today?”
She then told the jury that earlier this year Mr Ammann had pleaded guilty to encouraging insider dealing and to insider dealing charges.
The trial continues.
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