US SEC Charges Man For Making $1.7 Mln By Eavesdropping BP Wife's Deal Calls

(RTTNews) - The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission or SEC accused a Texas man of making more than $1.7 million with insider trading by overhearing work calls made by his wife, a BP mergers and acquisitions manager, while working work from home.

The SEC said that Tyler Loudon, an employee of a publicly traded company, was charged for making illegal profits from buying up thousands of shares in TravelCenters of America (TA) ahead of its $1.3 billion acquisition by BP plc (BP) last year. He and his wife worked "within 20 feet of each other" at home and often overheard each other's discussions.

Eric Werner, Director of the SEC's Fort Worth office, said Loudon "took advantage of his remote working conditions and his wife's trust to profit from information he knew was confidential".

According to SEC's case, Loudon had bought 46,450 shares in Ohio-based fuel station chain TravelCenters of America, which ranged from $49.94 to $84.83 per share after the deal went public and later sold it for more than $1.7 million.

It further stated that Loudon's wife acknowledged discussing the deal with him "during the normal course of marital communications", believing that he would keep the information confidential.

The agency stated that initially, he kept his wife in the dark about the trading, but later confessed in April 2023, when his wife told him that all the employees who worked on the deal would be under scrutiny.

Loudon's wife reported his confession to her supervisor, who put her on administrative leave and later terminated the employment, even though no evidence was found that she willfully leaked the information, the SEC said.

The Court is expected to convict Loudon for up to five years in prison along with a penalty of up to $250,000 during the sentencing on May 17. The SEC had asked the court to ban him from being employed as an officer or director in any U.S.-listed company.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


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