A former Goldman Sachs analyst and his lawyer brother have appeared in court charged with insider trading and fraud.
Mohammed Zina, 32, and Suhail Zina, 33, who was a solicitor at Clifford Chance, appeared at Westminster magistrates court on Tuesday. They were charged by the UK regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority, with six offences of insider dealing and three counts of fraud by false representation.
Mohammed Zina, of Stoke Newington, was employed by Goldman Sachs International as an analyst in its conflicts resolution group in London. Suhail Zina, also of Stoke Newington, was a solicitor at Clifford Chance’s London office.
The alleged insider trading offences took place between July 2016 and December 2017 and involved trading in Arm Holdings, Alternative Networks, Punch Taverns, Shawbrook, HSN and Snyder’s-Lance. The total profit from the alleged insider dealing was £142,000, the FCA said in a statement.
The fraud charges relate to three personal loans totalling £95,000. These were allegedly obtained from Tesco Bank and were purportedly taken out for funding home improvements. The FCA alleges these personal loans funded the insider share dealing.
At Westminster magistrates court on Tuesday Mohammed Zina pleaded not guilty and Suhail Zina did not enter a plea. The case has now been sent to Southwark Crown Court for a hearing on March 16.
Insider dealing carries a maximum penalty of up to seven years in prison and fraud carries a maximum 10-year prison sentence.
Mohammed Zina left Goldman in 2018 and his brother left Clifford Chance the same year.
The US bank said in a statement: “Neither the firm nor any other current or former employee of the firm is the subject of an investigation into the matters giving rise to the proceedings.”
The FCA, which has powers to instigate criminal prosecutions, has brought a number of insider trading cases in the City of London and has prioritised tackling market abuse, including insider trading. It has secured 36 convictions in relation to insider dealing.
In 2019 it secured the convictions of a former UBS compliance officer and her day-trader friend, who received three-year sentences for five offences of insider trading, following an eight-week retrial in a high-profile FCA prosecution. The two defendants, Fabiana Abdel-Malek and Walid Choucair, tried and failed to have their convictions overturned at the UK’s Criminal Court of Appeal last December.
The FCA’s most complex insider dealing prosecution to date was the Tabernula case in 2016. It secured six convictions, including that of Martyn Dodgson, a former broker at Deutsche Bank who was jailed for four and a half years for an insider dealing conspiracy, which operated between November 2006 and March 2010.