Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Insider trader wins early release

Leonie Lamont | SMH | December 7, 2011

John Hartman, the youngest person jailed in Australia for insider trading, will be released from jail early after a successful appeal to the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal.

Hartman's original four year jail term and three-year non-parole period was quashed by the appeal judges, who re-sentenced him to a jail term of three years, and non-parole period of 15 months - meaning he will be released from jail on March 1 next year.

Hartman was only 20 when he started work as an equities dealer with Orion Asset Management in 2006. Between 2007 and 2009 he passed inside information to a friend, and traded on his own account in contracts for difference. He used his inside knowledge of pending Orion trades to engage in ''front running'', making nearly $1.6 million in profits.
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Pleading guilty to the charges, Hartman has been in jail since December last year.

Justice Anthony Whealy, who during the appeal hearing said there needed to be general deterrence for ''21 year old masters of the universe'', reiterated the sentiment in this morning's judgement.

The appeal judges did not agree that Hartman's youth and relative immaturity had any role to play in the downgrading of general deterrence.

''The applicant was operating in the adult sphere of business and commerce in every respect, and of course he was himself an educated and worldly young adult in every sense of the word.

''The court cannot lose sight of the need to deter young adults from taking the significant financial advantages offered by the contemporary business world in circumstances where, at the same time, they reject the legal and moral constraints properly imposed upon their commercial behaviour.''

The court did take into account Hartman's depressed mental condition, and pathological gambling addiction, in redetermining the sentence

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