Trader in Insider-Dealing Trial Says He Lost as Much as Won

  • Ben Anderson blames stock losses on high-risk strategy
  • `You live by the sword, you die by the sword,' Anderson says

A day trader on trial for insider dealing lost, as well as made, millions with his co-defendants, showing they had no more "guaranteed win" information than anyone else, his lawyer told a London jury.

Ben Anderson lost as much as 2.3 million pounds ($3.3 million) on a single stock that he bought and sold along with some of the men he is accused of conspiring with to use confidential information, Ian Winter, his lawyer, said Tuesday. The losses caused the Scottish venture capitalist to worry about the mounting debt he was owed by Andrew Hind, an accountant who placed transactions with Anderson.

"You live by the sword, you die by the sword as an event trader," Anderson told the court Tuesday, in reference to his strategy. Event traders try to anticipate big merger announcements at companies and trade ahead of them.

The trial is the culmination of a probe that started with a series of dawn arrests in 2010. Prosecutors from the Financial Conduct Authority say the 71-year-old Anderson and four other men traded tips that helped them make 7.4 million pounds in profits trading six stocks, including Sky Plc and Legal & General Group Plc.

Alleged Conspiracy

The FCA alleges Anderson was part of a conspiracy with former Deutsche Bank AG managing director Martyn Dodgson, Andrew "Grant" Harrison, an ex-stockbroker at Panmure Gordon & Co., former Aria Capital Ltd. director Iraj Parvizi, and Hind. The FCA claims Dodgson and Harrison passed price-sensitive information from their jobs in corporate broking to Hind, who then passed it to Anderson and Parvizi to trade on between 2006 and 2010.

Central to the evidence is a bug placed in Anderson’s office in 2008. The device recorded several conversations between Parvizi and Anderson, which the prosecution claims show the duo knew they were being given inside information. On the tape Parvizi is heard telling Anderson that Hind has a man at Deutsche Bank who used to work at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., who the prosecution claims is Dodgson. Anderson told the court he thought Parvizi was talking "rubbish" but decided he would monitor the situation more carefully to make sure he wasn’t being given inside information.

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