BP executive’s husband sentenced to prison for buying stocks

The ex-husband of a former BP mergers and acquisitions manager was sentenced to two years in federal prison for insider trading that netted him $1.76 million after eavesdropping on her work calls about the oil giant buying another company. Tyler Loudon, the ex-husband, was also sentenced to one year of supervised release and fined $10,000 by U.S. District Court Judge Sim Lake in Houston.

Loudon, as part of his guilty plea to a charge of securities fraud in February, had already agreed to forfeit the illicit profit he made from selling off nearly 46,500 shares of TravelCenters of America after the company’s stock price soared on news it was being acquired by BP.

The 42-year-old engineer from Houston bought TravelCenters shares for about $2 million over several months beginning in December 2022. His purchases started after he secretly listened to his wife’s work calls about BP buying TravelCenters and later discussed the deal with her in “normal” married-couple conversations. The eavesdropping occurred when they were working remotely due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In March 2023, Loudon confessed to his wife, who reported his actions to her BP supervisor. She was fired and later divorced Loudon. A sentencing memo filed by his attorney stated that Loudon’s marriage was under stress due to multiple relocations and job changes, leading him to fear for the marriage’s future.

Loudon deeply regrets his actions and looks forward to moving on with his life, according to his lawyer. Zeidenberg, in his sentencing memo, noted that Loudon had lost his job and marriage as a result of his actions, with bleak job prospects in the future. Loudon faces a separate civil lawsuit by the SEC related to his insider trading.

Insider trading cases involving spouses are often not criminally charged, with civil dispositions being more common. However, Loudon’s case involved aggravating factors that led to criminal prosecution. The SEC is also pursuing a civil case against Loudon, overseen by Judge Lake.

In conclusion, Loudon’s insider trading scheme resulted in legal consequences and personal losses, emphasizing the importance of maintaining integrity in financial markets. The case serves as a reminder of the repercussions of unethical behavior and the need to uphold market transparency and fairness.

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