Former UK ambassador fined for market abuse

Losses and Lawsuits

LONDON - The UK's Financial Services Authority (FSA) has fined the former UK ambassador to Peru £117,691 for market abuse. Richard Ralph, also a former chairman of mining firm Monterrico Metals, was fined together with Brazilan businessman Filip Boyen, who received a £81,982 penalty, for dealing in the mining company's shares using insider information. In January 2007, Ralph asked Boyen to buy £30,000 worth of the firm's shares on his behalf. A takeover offer for the company had already been agreed in principle at a considerable premium to the then share price.

Ralph had knowledge of private details of the takeover and was aware he could not deal in the firm's shares. Between January 29 and February 2, 2007, Boyen bought shares worth £77,162 for himself and shares worth £30,533 for Ralph. A Chinese mining corporation bought the company on February 5, after which both men sold their shares. Ralph made £12,691 profit and Boyen made £29,482. The fines consist of the disgorgement of ill-gotten profits and extra penalties of £105,000 and £52,000 respectively. The FSA says Ralph contacted the regulator admitting the insider trading after it made enquiries into the suspicious trades. It says had this not been the case it would have embarked on criminal proceedings.

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