Suffolk man testifies in insider trading trial
A SUFFOLK man accused of being an accomplice in an insider trading scam, has given evidence against a former partner at the Queen’s stockbrokers.
Southwark Crown Court heard Bertie Hatcher, of Rushmere St Andrew, near Ipswich, was told what shares to buy and when by Malcolm Calvert.
Calvert denies using secret information on proposed management buyouts, takeovers and mergers to tell Mr Hatcher to buy nearly half a million shares in six firms. The pair’s profit was said to be �280,000.
Calvert, who retired from stockbroker Cazenove 10 years ago, used Mr Hatcher to buy the shares because he could not risk using his own name, it was alleged.
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Mr Hatcher, 67, was too ill to appear in court. However, in a statement read to the jury, he said he always gave his long-term friend his share of the profits.
This was done in a variety of ways, including Mr Hatcher leaving envelopes of cash with a bookmaker at a racecourse for Mr Calvert to collect.
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The envelopes, containing between �10,000 and �15,000 each, would sometimes be left at the home of Mr Hatcher’s son for Mr Calvert to collect, the statement said.
Mr Hatcher said he had deducted tax from the profits before dividing them up and distributing two thirds to Mr Calvert and one third for himself.
Previously, Peter Carter, QC, prosecuting, played the jury a recording of a phone call which Mr Hatcher made to his stockbroker on October 18, 2004.
While on hold during the purchase of 27,500 shares in South Staffordshire Plc, Mr Hatcher could be heard making a call on a second line to a man he identified to prosecutors as the defendant.
“Hi Malcolm,” Mr Hatcher said. “The only time I buy shares is when I hear from you, that’s the only time.”
Mr Hatcher went on: “Let’s see what the price is, that’s why I’m phoning you, so you can say yes or no. I don’t know what I’d decide myself.”
Mr Hatcher bought a total of 30,500 shares which he later sold after a takeover by First Islamic Bank for a profit of almost �64,500.
A second recorded call in March 2005 was also played in court. That deal netted �66,000 profit for the pair, it was alleged.
Calvert, 65, of Cobham, Surrey, denies 12 counts of insider dealing between April 23 2003, and March 8 2005.
The case continues.