Question of the Week — Three Years in Prison for Insider Trading – Too Harsh or Not Harsh Enough?
A London judge sentenced former UBS compliance officer Fabiana Abdel-Malek and day trader Walid Choucair to three years in prison for insider trading. At trial, the jury saw evidence suggesting that Abdel-Malek and Choucair were in constant communication as the compliance officer learned of potential takeover deals and other confidential company information through UBS’s internal databases. Abdel-Malek and Choucair used burner phones for some of these communications, which the judge took as evidence of “how carefully planned and deliberate the scheme was.” Choucair used the information in his trading, essentially making bets based on the information Abdel-Malek passed on to him. Choucair made £1.4 million ($1.78 million) on these trades.