Benjamin Taylor and Darina Windsor, two London investment bankers, were charged by the U.S. government in September with selling information about pending mergers and acquisitions as part of a “large-scale, international insider-trading ring.” In a recent Bloomberg article, prosecutors say the pair generated tens of millions of dollars in illicit profits as a result of their activities.
Though the U.S. government has systematically cracked down on insider trading, with convictions of dozens of bankers, traders and corporate executives in recent years, the new charges signify the illicit practice continues Wall Street.
While the U.S. government didn’t identify their employers, Moelis & Co. confirmed Taylor had worked at the firm and Windsor worked at Centerview Partners LLC. Both firms are relatively new advisory banks and have now been drawn into a widening insider-trading scandal.
According to the federal indictment, Taylor and Windsor were romantically involved and shared an apartment. From late 2012 to early 2018, the couple allegedly worked together to sell information about planned mergers and acquisitions they gleaned at work on 22 companies to two middlemen. The middlemen passed the information on to securities traders who would profit before the information became public, according to prosecutors.
Some of the information Taylor and Windsor allegedly stole was leaked to the media by a securities trader who profited when it was published. Taylor and Windsor received more than $1 million in benefits, including cash, luxury watches and expensive clothes, according to prosecutors.