Operation Tabernula is back! In the largest investigation in recent UK history, Julian Rifat pleads guilty to insider trading

In a case brought by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Julian Rifat a former senior execution trader at Moore Capital Management LLC has today pleaded guilty to an indictment reflecting 8 instances of insider dealing. Profits from the dealing exceeded £250,000. Mr. Rifat is the third individual to plead guilty to insider dealing offences arising out of Operation Tabernula, the FCA’s largest and most complex insider dealing investigation. He will be sentenced in the New Year.

In Septemebr this year, British law enforcement agencies were reported by the FCA to have shifted their attention away from insider trading and onto the FX benchmark manipulation allegations which many major banks and FX dealers across the world currently face.

Mr. Rifat admitted passing inside information, obtained during the course of his employment, to an associate, Graeme Shelley, who then traded for their joint benefit. Earlier this year Graeme Shelley, previously a broker at Novum Securities, pleaded guilty to insider dealing with Mr. Rifat and with another associate Paul Milsom. Paul Milsom, an execution trader at Legal and General Insurance Management Ltd, pleaded guilty to insider dealing and was sentenced in 2013.

At the time of the deals which have led Mr. Rifat to court, he was a senior trader at Moore Capital Management LLC, and was arrested four years ago along with other suspects during Operation Tabernula which was a purge on insider trading in London, which highlighted ten potential offenders. Mr. Rifat was tried in court in January 2014 for allegedly profiting from having access to advantageous information in Barclays and Volkswagen stock.

It is likely that this matter took a relative back seat due to the resources used by the FCA to work with law enforcement agencies in investigating banks for alleged malpractice with regard to FX benchmarks.

Tracey McDermott, the FCA’s director of enforcement and financial crime said: “Insider dealing investigations are complex and long-running. Nevertheless we are committed to undertaking the painstaking analytical work which is required to bring these cases to court.”

“In this case measures were taken by those involved to conceal their activities – this included communicating via unregistered Pay As You Go mobile telephones and the diversion of trading profits to third parties. The guilty plea today is a reflection of our capability and determination to tackle these challenging and complex cases” concluded Ms McDermott.

To read the full announcement from the FCA, click here.

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