Former BP Manager’s Husband Guilty of Insider Trading in TravelCenters Acquisition: Details Revealed

The husband of a former BP merger and acquisitions manager admitted to securities fraud concerning insider trading by intercepting his wife’s work calls during her involvement in a potential acquisition of TravelCenters of America, a fuel and truck stop operator.

Tyler Loudon, residing in Houston, made $1.76 million through unlawful trades based on confidential information about the potential acquisition at his wife’s workplace, stated U.S. Attorney Alamdar Hamdani in the Southern District of Texas. Loudon, set for sentencing on May 17, could face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He agreed to forfeit the $1.76 million in illegal gains as part of his guilty plea.

In a separate action, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a civil complaint against Loudon for the same behavior, which he did not dispute. “Mr. Loudon made a terrible mistake in judgment for which he has taken full responsibility,” remarked Loudon’s attorney, Peter Zeidenberg, to CNBC.

Illicit trades based on nonpublic info about TravelCenters acquisition
Illicit trades based on nonpublic info about TravelCenters acquisition; face a five-year sentence.

Officials revealed that in 2022, Loudon gained knowledge of BP’s confidential intentions to acquire TravelCenters while he was working remotely within earshot of his wife, a scenario common among many couples due to pandemic-related work-from-home policies.

In December 2022, while the couple was staying in a small Airbnb during a trip to Rome, Loudon covertly listened to his wife’s private work calls discussing BP’s potential acquisition of TravelCenters, according to the SEC’s civil complaint filed in a Houston federal court.

Following their return from Rome, the couple continued to work remotely close, with their home offices situated within 20 feet of each other, as noted by the SEC. Loudon’s wife occasionally discussed the acquisition with him in typical married-couple conversations, the SEC stated. However, over the ensuing months, Loudon amassed 46,450 shares of TravelCenters without informing his wife, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

Wife's work calls eavesdropped for insider knowledge;
Wife’s work calls eavesdropped for insider knowledge; couple’s close quarters facilitated scheme.

To acquire the TravelCenters shares, Loudon liquidated all positions in his brokerage account and Roth IRA, as well as other equities, totaling over $2 million, as highlighted by the SEC. On Feb. 16, 2023, when TravelCenters announced the BP acquisition, resulting in a 71% surge in its stock price, Loudon sold all his shares of the company, realizing a $1.76 million profit, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

In March, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority requested a list of individuals privy to the TravelCenters acquisition before its public announcement. A former BP employee involved in the acquisition reached out to Loudon’s wife, expressing dissatisfaction with the need to disclose personal details to comply with FINRA.

Upon learning of this exchange, Loudon asked his wife if current employees would face similar scrutiny, according to the SEC complaint. She affirmed they would. A week later, Loudon confessed to his wife that he had engaged in illegal trading of TravelCenter shares “to make enough money so that she did not have to work long hours anymore,” according to the SEC.

Loudon’s wife reported her husband’s insider trading to her BP supervisor, resulting in her termination from the company. She initiated divorce proceedings against Loudon in June, according to the SEC complaint.

Sajda Parveen
Sajda Parveen
Sajda Praveen is a market expert. She has over 6 years of experience in the field and she shares her expertise with readers. You can reach out to her at [email protected]
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