Two Australians Convicted of Insider Trading with CFDs

The maximum penalty for insider trading in Australia is ten years imprisonment, but both these sentences were fully suspended

Two Australian men, including a former analyst for the ratings agency Moody’s, were convicted today of insider trading, according to the the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). In December 2014, Daniel Joffe and Nathan Stromer each pleaded guilty to two counts of insider trading.

Mr. Joffe, in the course of his duties as an associate analyst with Moody’s, learned that two companies were going to be, or likely to be, subject to takeover bids. Mr. Joffe passed this sensitive information to Mr. Stromer who used this information to buy and sell shares and contracts for difference (CFDs) in the companies that were about to be, or likely to be, subject to takeover bids. With the inside tip offs from Joffe, Stromer managed to net $184,408.20.

Appearing in the Supreme Court of New South Wales, Mr. Joffe was sentenced to 27 months imprisonment. Mr. Stromer was sentenced to 24 months imprisonment. However, both sentences were fully suspended on the condition that they pay a $1,000 bond and be on good behaviour for 2 years. Mr. Stromer also paid a penalty in the amount of $229,349.87.

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ASIC Commissioner Cathie Armour said today, “ASIC is committed to pursuing cases of insider trading and has the systems to effectively detect, analyse and investigate any form of misconduct that seeks to undermine confidence in our markets.”

In October 2010, the maximum penalty for insider trading in Australia was doubled from five to 10 years imprisonment. In this sentencing, the Justice emphasised that Mr. Joffe and Mr. Stromer were subject to the former lesser maximum penalty. ASIC only laid charges in this matter in February 2010.

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