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US man accused of making $1.8m from listening in on wife’s remote work calls

www.theguardian.com US man accused of making $1.8m from listening in on wife’s remote work calls

Regulator charges Tyler Loudon with insider trading in case that could fuel arguments about working from home

US man accused of making $1.8m from listening in on wife’s remote work calls

US regulators have accused a man of making $1.8m (£1.4m) by trading on confidential information he overheard while his wife was on a remote call, in a case that could fuel arguments against working from home.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said it charged Tyler Loudon with insider trading after he “took advantage of his remote working conditions” and profited from private information related to the oil firm BP’s plans to buy an Ohio-based travel centre and truck-stop business last year.

The SEC claims that Loudon, who is based in Houston, Texas, listened in on several remote calls held by his wife, a BP merger and acquisitions manager who had been working on the planned deal in a home office 20ft (6 metres) away.

The regulator said Loudon went on a buying spree, purchasing more than 46,000 shares in the takeover target, TravelCentres, without his wife’s knowledge, weeks before the deal was announced on 16 February 2023. TravelCentres of America’s stock soared by nearly 71% after the deal was announced. Loudon then sold off all of his shares, making a $1.8m profit.

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