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Moore Capital trader arested in ‘largest-ever’ FSA insider-dealing swoop

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A trader at the London-arm of New York hedge fund Moore Capital is one of the six men arrested on Tuesday morning in a series of early-morning raids on 16 addresses in London, Oxfordshire and the south east of England.

A statement issued by Moore late on Tuesday afternoon confirmed that FSA representatives had been at the firm’s London offices to serve a search warrant for documents relating to an employee of Moore Europe working as an execution trader on its London Equity Execution desk. It also stated that the investigation of the employee does not involve any of the funds managed by the USD14bn hedge fund, led by US-born billionaire Louis Bacon.

Six people were arrested in the swoop, which involved some 143 investigators working in collaboration with the Serious Organised Crime Agency. The FSA has described it as its ‘largest-ever operation against insider-dealing’.

Two of those are believed to be employees of Deutsche Bank and investment bank Exane, which is party-owned by BNP Paribas.

None of the six people arrested have yet been charged or formally identified by the authorities but the Moore employee under investigation is believed to be Julian Rifat, who joined the firm’s London operation in 2008, having previously worked at hedge funds Brevan Howard Asset Management and VCM Fund Management.

In a statement released earlier on Tuesday, the FSA said that six men, including two senior professionals at ‘leading City institutions’ and a hedge fund employee had been arrested in connection with a ‘sophisticated and long-running insider-dealing ring’. The City watchdog added that it believed the City professionals passed information to traders who ‘made significant profits as a result’.

Three years ago, the FSA massively increased the resources it deploys on surveillance and enforcement – including installing a powerful computer system, Sabre, which analyses trading data and identifies patterns of possible illegal dealing.

The FSA has so far declined to divulge any further information about the operation but a spokesman for the City watchdog has confirmed that the investigation is continuing.

‘This is an on-going investigation’ he said. ‘ And when we have more information we will make it public.’

 

 

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