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Texas man made $1.7m by illegally trading on wife’s WFH calls

BP
BP

A husband who listened in on his wife’s working-from-home calls made $1.7 million buying shares after overhearing sensitive business details of BP.

Tyler Loudon, 42, from Houston, Texas, pleaded guilty to insider trading on Thursday after he bought and sold stock based on information he had obtained while listening in to his wife’s work conversations.

Mr Loudon heard his wife, a mergers and acquisitions manager at BP, talk about how the oil company planned to acquire a truck stop and travel centre company, known as TravelCenters of America, based in Ohio.

Mr Loudon saw the $1.3 billion planned takeover as an opportunity to make a profit.

He went on to purchase 46,000 shares of the truck-stop company over a one-and-a-half-month period.

TravelCenters’s shares then skyrocketed 71 per cent after the takeover was announced on Feb 16 2023. Mr Loudon immediately sold his shares, pocketing almost $2 million profit.

According to the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas, Mr Loudon’s wife was unaware of what he had been up to while she was working remotely.

Began divorce proceedings

He later told his wife, who was stunned at the news, that he had done it so the pair could have enough money for her to work shorter hours.

Mr Loudon’s supposed act of love did not land well with his wife, who moved out of the house and began divorce proceedings last June.

BP put Mr Loudon’s wife on administrative leave and then fired her despite finding no proof that she knowingly leaked the information on the takeover to her husband or knew anything about his trading, according to court filings against Mr Loudon.

Eric Werner, the director of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Fort Worth office, said Mr Loudon “took advantage of his remote working conditions and his wife’s trust to profit from information he knew was confidential”.

Mr Loudon faces up to five years in a federal prison and a possible fine of up to $250,000 at his scheduled May 17 hearing.

BP did not immediately respond to requests for comment.