Body Shop employee fined for insider trading

02-07-2008

Body Shop employee fined for insider trading
The FSA has fined a former Body Shop employee £85,000 for insider trading after the IT technician found out the company's results before they were published.

The employee, John Shevlin, discovered the retailer had underperformed on expectations by accessing confidential emails sent by senior executives of the Body Shop.

Mr Shevlin took a short position by borrowing, then selling, 80,000 Body Shop shares before the Christmas trading figures were made public.

After the share price fell on the news, he was able to buy back the shares at a lower price and pocket the difference.

The FSA said Mr Shevlin borrowed £29,000 to make the trade – more than his annual salary – and made a profit of £38,472 on the deal.

Margaret Cole, FSA's director of enforcement, said: "Mr Shevlin deliberately set out to obtain highly sensitive and valuable information to which he was not entitled.

"He abused the trust placed in him by his employers and misused his technical skills to gain a financial advantage over other market users.

The FSA said it has taken into account that there have been no previous findings of market misconduct against Mr Shevlin, who is no longer a Body Shop employee.

The regulator added that no fault has been attributed to Body Shop in the case.

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