Ex-Goldman Sachs analyst, brother charged in UK with insider trading

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By Huw Jones and Iain Withers

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s financial watchdog said it has started fraud and insider dealing proceedings against two brothers, one who worked as a Goldman Sachs analyst, the other as a lawyer at Clifford Chance.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said the proceedings against Mohammed Zina, 32, and his brother Suhail Zina, 33, relate to six offences of insider dealing and three offences of fraud by false representation, making an alleged profit of 142,000 pounds ($197,834).

“Mohammed Zina was employed by Goldman Sachs International as an analyst in the Conflicts Resolution Group in their London office. Suhail Zina was a solicitor at Clifford Chance, also in London,” the FCA said in a statement on Tuesday.

Goldman Sachs said the protection of confidential client information is of paramount importance for the bank, and it has worked very closely with the FCA.

“Neither the firm nor any other current or former employee of the firm is the subject of an investigation into the matters giving rise to the proceedings,” Goldman Sachs said.

The bank’s conflicts resolution group checks if the lender has any actual or perceived conflicts of interest in its advisory, financing, lending and other activities.

Clifford Chance, a member of the elite group of “magic circle” law firms, said Suhail Zina left in 2018, declining further comment.

The FCA said the alleged offences took place between July 2016 and December 2017, and involved trading in ARM Holdings, Alternative Networks, Punch Taverns, Shawbrook, HSN, and Snyder’s Lance, companies that were involved in merger and acquisition deals during that period.

The fraud charges relate to three personal loans obtained from Tesco Bank, totalling 95,000 pounds.

“The loans were stated to be for funding home improvements. Instead, the loans funded the alleged insider dealing,” the FCA said.

Mohammed and Suhail Zina appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court on Tuesday and the case was sent to Southwark Crown Court for a plea and trial preparation hearing on 16 March, the watchdog said.

($1 = 0.7178 pounds)

(Reporting by Huw Jones and Iain Withers; Editing by Rachel Armstrong)