A luxury-watch dealer who laundered the proceeds of insider dealing through Panamanian companies and offshore bank accounts has been convicted but has fled from justice, the FCA has revealed.
Richard Baldwin, 52, was found guilty in July 2017 of laundering £1.5m of criminally obtained profits in a scam uncovered by the Operation Tabernula investigation, but reporting restrictions about his case have only now been lifted.
Baldwin was tried in his absence and found guilty of laundering the profits made on dealing on inside information about Scottish & Newcastle in 2007.
This was a complex investigation involving the tracing of funds through layers of international banking transactions by offshore companies"
A European arrest warrant has been secured for him, and the FCA appealed for any details of his whereabouts. He is the sixth man to be convicted as part of Operation Tabernula, the UK financial regulator's biggest insider-trading investigation to date.
Baldwin was a business partner of Andrew Hind who, along with Martyn Dodgson, was convicted of conspiracy to insider deal between November 2006 and March 2010.Dodgson sourced inside information from within the investment banks at which he worked and passed on this inside information to Hind who acted as a ‘middle man'.
To receive some of the proceeds from the conspiracy, Baldwin set up a company in Panama and opened a company bank account in Zurich in which he deposited £1.5m from insider dealing in Scottish & Newcastle plc.
Baldwin later fled to Geneva, withdrawing the sterling equivalent of £114,000 in cash and liquidated assets worth more than £82,500.
"This was a complex investigation involving the tracing of funds through layers of international banking transactions by offshore companies," said Mark Steward, the head of FCA enforcement.
"This case demonstrates our determination to pursue not only those who commit insider dealing but those who are prepared to launder the ill-gotten gains from abusing our market."