Ex-Banker to Pay $152,000 for Insider Tips to Girlfriends

Thomas Ammann, the former Mizuho International Plc banker sentenced to 32 months in prison for giving inside information on deals to two of his girlfriends, must repay 94,568 pounds ($151,820), a judge ruled today.

Ammann, a German citizen who worked on the Mizuho team advising Canon Inc. on its 2009 takeover of OCE NV, agreed to repay the profits from crime within 14 days to the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority.

Ammann pleaded guilty to insider trading and encouraging the women to commit insider trading in 2012 and will serve half of the 32-month sentence. Jessica Mang and Christina Weckwerth were cleared of trading on illegal tips from him following a London trial that ended in November.

Chris Hamilton, an FCA spokesman, declined to comment on today’s hearing. A call to lawyers representing Ammann wasn’t immediately returned.

Ammann appeared at the hearing in a blue V-neck sweater and rimmed glasses. He only spoke to confirm his name. If he fails to make the payment he could face another 18 months in jail, Judge Anthony Leonard said today.

Mang and Weckwerth nearly doubled the amount they invested trading on the tips and then paid half their profits to Ammann, the FCA said during their trial. Ammann tried to avoid getting caught by having his girlfriends, who didn’t know the banker was involved with them both simultaneously, make the trades, the FCA said.

Canon, the Tokyo-based maker of cameras and photocopiers, agreed to buy OCE in a 730 million-euro ($986 million) deal in November 2009.

Japanese Girlfriend

Weckwerth, who has British and Cypriot citizenship, earned about 2 million pounds after investing 1 million euros before the deal, prosecutors said at her trial. She argued she bought the shares only after doing her own research on Ammann’s recommendation, and that she didn’t know his work was related to the tips.

Mang, a British chiropractor who met Ammann at London nightclub Movida in 2009, said she bought the shares at Ammann’s request because she wanted to show she trusted him.

Ammann was with a third woman when his house was raided in 2010, the FCA said before he was sentenced. The woman, who wasn’t identified, was Japanese and didn’t speak English.

(Adds trial background starting in eighth paragraph.)
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