BP exec’s husband gets prison for stock purchases

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The ex-husband of a former BP mergers and acquisitions manager was sentenced to two years in federal prison for insider trading that netted him $1.76 million after he eavesdropped on her work calls about the oil giant buying another company.

The ex-husband, Tyler Loudon, also was sentenced to one year of supervised release after his prison term and fined $10,000 by U.S. District Court Judge Sim Lake in Houston on Monday.

Loudon’s lawyer, Peter Zeidenberg, asked Lake to sentence him to one year of home confinement followed by two years of supervised release, citing, among other reasons, the need to care for Loudon’s ailing mother.

The prison sentence was at the bottom end of the 24-to-30-month range requested by federal prosecutors.

Loudon, as part of his guilty plea to a charge of securities fraud in February, already had agreed to forfeit the illicit profit he made in February 2023 from selling off the nearly 46,500 shares of TravelCenters of America after that company’s stock price soared more than 70% on news it was being acquired by BP for about $1.3 billion.

The 42-year-old Houston resident, who was an engineer for an oil and gas company, bought TravelCenters shares for about $2 million over several months beginning in December 2022.

His purchases started after he secretly listened to his wife’s work calls about BP buying TravelCenters and later discussed the deal with her in “normal” married-couple kinds of conversations, according to court records.

Loudon’s eavesdropping occurred when he and his wife were working remotely “in close quarters” to one another due to the Covid-19 pandemic at the time, records show.

“Racked with guilt and fear,” Loudon “confessed to his wife” what he had done in March 2023 after learning that the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority had asked BP for a list of people “in the know” about the TravelCenters deal before it was finalized, according to court filings.

Loudon’s wife, who was not accused of wrongdoing, reported his actions to her BP supervisor, but she ended up getting fired later, court records show. She also divorced Loudon.

A sentencing memo filed last week by Loudon’s attorney says that at the time he bought the TravelCenters, Loudon was a “frequent day-trader of stocks” whose “marriage was under a great deal of stress as a result of multiple relocations and job changes” for both him and his wife.

“Mr. Loudon began to fear that his marriage was in jeopardy, an event that was particularly freighted in his mind due to the divorce he experienced as a child,” the memo said.

“In a wholly misguided belief that money could somehow help address the marital stresses the couple was experiencing, Mr. Loudon made the fateful decision to betray his wife’s trust, as well as his own better judgment,” the memo said.

“Tyler deeply regrets his conduct, has taken responsibility for it, and looks forward to putting this behind him and moving on with his life,” Zeidenberg told CNBC on Wednesday.


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