Consultant Sidhu Facing 23 Insider-Trading Counts Goes on Trial in U.K.

A management consultant used tips from a hedge fund employee to profit by betting on shares in companies including Julius Baer Group Ltd. (BAER) and Swatch Group AG, prosecutors said in a London court today.

Rupinder Sidhu faces 23 insider-trading charges and one count of money laundering in a jury trial that began today and is expected to last three weeks. Sidhu pleaded not guilty in April.

The prosecution claims Sidhu got inside information from a man who worked at a hedge fund about his firm’s trading, said Michael Brompton, a lawyer for the prosecution. “This information enabled the defendant to engage in successful spread betting on stocks and shares.”

Sidhu, 40, was charged with trading securities of companies such as Julius Baer, Swatch, Reed Elsevier Plc and Michael Page International Plc, while knowing London hedge fund AKO Capital LLP planned transactions in the same shares, according to the indictment.

Before he traded with inside information, Sidhu, who advised public companies as a management consultant, had incurred losses of 80,000 pounds ($124,100) by Oct. 2008 in a personal account with spread-betting firm IG Index, Brompton said. He told the firm he didn’t have sufficient assets to pay the debt and would pay monthly installments of 5,000 pounds from his salary.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kit Chellel in London at cchellel@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net

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