Ex-Goldman Sachs UK analyst jailed for insider dealing after London trial

Ex-Goldman Sachs UK analyst jailed for insider dealing after London trial
Ex-Goldman Sachs UK analyst jailed for insider dealing after London trial

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Mohammed Zina, 35, was employed by Goldman Sachs International in its conflicts resolution group in London. — Reuters pic

LONDON, Feb 16 ― A former Goldman Sachs analyst was today jailed for 22 months after he was convicted in a London court of using inside information to buy shares in listed companies and make more than £140,000 (RM842,662).

Mohammed Zina, 35, was employed by Goldman Sachs International in its conflicts resolution group in London.

Prosecutors said he used confidential information to buy shares in six companies between July 2016 and December 2017, including chip designer Arm Holdings with knowledge of SoftBank Group's impending US$32 billion acquisition.

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Zina would have made another £50,000, but he was arrested before he could sell his shares in snack maker Snyder's-Lance Inc, prosecutors said.

He had pleaded not guilty to six offences of insider dealing and three counts of fraud for allegedly lying to Tesco Bank about the purpose of loans which were used to buy the shares.

But Zina was convicted of all nine charges on Thursday, following a trial at Southwark Crown Court.

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'Betrayed trust'

Judge Tony Baumgartner sentenced him to 22 months in prison, saying: “You betrayed the trust of your employer, as well as cheated honest investors in the shares you traded using inside information you saw at work.

“What you did strikes at the very heart of our financial markets and the trust and confidence the public places in them.”

He added: “You have thrown away what was undoubtedly a promising career in banking, something that many young people dream of, and for the sake of easy gain.”

The judge listed a further hearing in September to deal with the prosecution's application to confiscate the profits made by Zina.

A Goldman Sachs spokesperson said: “Mohammed Zina betrayed the trust we placed in him and his misuse of client information was in direct contradiction of our values. We have zero tolerance for this conduct.”

Mohammed Zina's lawyer declined to comment following the sentence.

His brother Suhail Zina, formerly an associate at law firm Clifford Chance, had also stood trial but was cleared of all nine charges. Clifford Chance declined to comment.

Earlier today, Zina's barrister Brendan Kelly told the court he was the most junior member of the conflicts resolution group and was arrested more than six years ago, so had been “enduring these proceedings” ever since.

“Both the stigma and the impact of both conviction and imprisonment will have a very significant effect on this relatively young man of exemplary character,” Kelly said. ― Reuters

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