Former site manager found guilty of insider trading

A former site manager at an East Midlands-based plastics giant has been found guilty of two offences of insider dealing following an eight-week trial at Southwark Crown Court in a prosecution brought by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Stuart Bayes was employed as a site manager at Rushden plastic manufacturer, RPC Group. While working there he obtained confidential information, known as “inside information”, that RPC were about to announce the acquisition of British Polythene Industries (BPI).

Between 2 May 2016 and 8 June 2016, ahead of the market announcement that RPC had agreed to buy BPI on 9 June 2016, Bayes undertook increasingly aggressive trading in BPI shares.  He also encouraged a further individual, Jonathan Swann, to trade in BPI shortly before market close on the 8 June.

On 9 June Mr Bayes closed his position after making a profit of just over £132,000.

He will be sentenced on 26 April.

Swann was found not guilty of insider dealing.

At a previous trial in 2022, a jury failed to reach a verdict in the case, with the FCA pursuing a retrial which began in February 2024.

Steve Smart, joint executive director of enforcement and market oversight at the FCA, said: “In this case, a senior staff member at a listed company abused his position for personal profit.

“Such conduct undermines financial markets and public trust in them.

“Our determination to secure this conviction sends a clear message that we will take action to protect UK markets from bad actors.”

Insider dealing is a criminal offence punishable, on conviction, by a fine and or up to seven years’ imprisonment at the time of the offending. For offences committed on or after 1 November 2021, the maximum sentence is up to 10 years’ imprisonment.