Lawyer guilty of insider trading

PUBLISHED: 12:31 27 March 2009 | UPDATED: 16:01 11 May 2010

A LAWYER faces jail after being found guilty of insider trading. Christopher McQuoid, 40, of Aldouse Court, Fowlmere, helped his father-in-law, James Melbourne, 75, pocket a massive profit when Melbourn-based firm TTP communications was taken over b

A LAWYER faces jail after being found guilty of insider trading.

Christopher McQuoid, 40, of Aldouse Court, Fowlmere, helped his father-in-law, James Melbourne, 75, pocket a "massive profit" when Melbourn-based firm TTP communications was taken over by Motorola in May 2006.

Today (Friday), following a two-week trial at Southwark Crown Court, both were found guilty of insider dealing, an offence which carries the maximum of seven years jail.

After 11 hours 28 minutes of deliberation, jurors convicted McQuoid by an 11-1 majority and Melbourne by 10-2. They will be sentenced on Monday.

McQuoid, who was working as in-house counsel for TTP at the time, tipped off Melbourne, of Broadway Lodge, Ripley, Derbyshire, about the confidential takeover, and advised him to purchase shares which would more than double in price.

The pensioner spent £20,000 on more than 150,000 shares in TTP and made £49,000 when the price sky-rocketed.

He then split the proceeds "down the middle" with his daughter's husband.

The pair denied they ever discussed financial matters and maintained the timing of the share purchase was a coincidence.

McQuoid insisted he kept tight-lipped, and Melbourne said he took a genuine gamble after simply studying the stock market.

Judge Peter Testar allowed them both bail on condition of residence ahead of sentencing on Monday.

The prosecution is also launching confiscation proceedings and will be applying for the men to contribute to the cost of the prosecution.

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