Inside trader sees fine increased after losing ‘hardship’ appeal

22 October 2010

An insider trader who requested for a fine to be reduced on the grounds of ‘hardship’ has seen his appeal rejected by a tribunal.

Andre Jean Scerri, an investor in Amerisur Resources, was originally found to have committed market abuse and ordered to disgorge £46,062.50 by the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

However, the Financial Services and Markets Tribunal increased the penalty by a further £20,000 after evidence the trader presented to substantiate his claims of hardship was found to be “incomplete and misleading”.

Once he was notified of the fine, Mr Scerri lost a large amount of money through making hundreds of trades, the FSA explained.

Margaret Cole, managing director of enforcement and financial crime, said: “The tribunal’s decision to impose a financial penalty on Scerri in addition to the disgorgement, serves as a reminder to all that financial hardship claims will not succeed where assets have been frittered away.

“Scerri’s financial position was entirely of his own making and we welcome the tribunal’s decision to reinstate the fine."

The trader, who was investing in Amerisur Resources shares, changed his position from buy to sell after learning a large number of shares were to be sold at a substantial discount the following day.

Previously two other traders have been fined by the FSA for making investments in Amerisur shares using insider knowledge.

By Jim Ottewill

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