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Over a Million’ Allegedly Earned: Husband Accused of Eavesdropping on BP Wife

Over a Million'Earned: Husband Accused of Eavesdropping
Over a Million'Earned: Husband Accused of Eavesdropping

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Over a Million’Earned: Husband Accused of Eavesdropping

Tyler Loudon, the husband of a BP employee, is facing insider trading charges in the US after allegedly profiting from confidential information overheard during his wife’s work-from-home calls. The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) claims Loudon made $1.76 million in illegal gains by buying shares in TravelCenters of America, where his wife worked as BP’s mergers and acquisitions manager. The SEC alleges that Loudon took advantage of his wife’s remote working conditions and breached her trust to capitalize on confidential information about BP’s takeover of TravelCenters.

According to the SEC complaint, Loudon purchased 46,450 shares of TravelCenters stock without his wife’s knowledge. The purchase occurred during the negotiation phase of BP’s takeover of TravelCenters in 2022, while the couple worked in home offices within close proximity. The complaint notes that they frequently overheard each other’s work-related conversations and witnessed video conferences, creating an environment where sensitive information was accessible.

The SEC asserts that immediately after the public announcement of the TravelCenters deal, Loudon sold all the acquired shares, resulting in a 71% increase in TravelCenters’ stock price. Loudon later confessed to his wife about the stock purchase when questioned by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) during its investigation into the BP deal.

Loudon justified his actions to his wife, stating that he bought the shares to alleviate her need to work long hours. Shocked by the revelation, his wife reported the trading to her supervisor at BP. Despite finding no evidence that she knowingly leaked information to her husband or was aware of his stock purchase, BP terminated her employment.

The SEC highlighted the potential criminal charges against Loudon, who has agreed to pay a penalty. Beyond the legal implications, the case underscores the challenges posed by remote work in maintaining confidentiality and preventing insider trading. During the pandemic, regulators like the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK emphasized the importance of effective surveillance to mitigate insider trading risks associated with remote work.

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