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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Australian Insider Trader Jailed

John Hartman

John Hartman was raised in Mosman, schooled at St Ignatius College, went straight onto a salary of $250,000 one year after graduating, ripped his father off and made $1.9 million on illegal tips.

The judge said it was his love of the high life that led to his demise. At the age of 21 he was earning far in excess of many of his elders and living the life of Riley - fast cars, beautiful women, and trips to casinos around the world, including Las Vagas. But it all ended in tears last week when he was jailed for a minimum of three years for insider trading. Son of respected obstetrician to the stars Dr Keith Hartman he and his five siblings were once the 'perfect family'.

Dr Keith Hartman

The young Hartman got a job as a share dealer with Orion Asset Management and soon learned that large-volume trading could raise or lower the price of stock very quickly. His father said that the world his son had entered was "plastic". Justice McClellan agreed and said the financial industry should consider the repercussions of handing young men such large salaries. "The temptations are so great and the potential rewards so significant, that the fall into criminality of individuals is a significant risk". He netted $1.9 million from his activity and has repaid $1.59 million. He also stole $70,000 from his father.

Hartman's defence team said he development depression and gambling problems when his brother Alex developed bipolar disorder but it didn't impress the judge. Alex was the winner of Young Australian of the Year award in 2001.

The nineteen counts of front-running between June 2007 and January 2009 included Oxiana, Transpacific Industries, Alumina and OZ Minerals. He received more sentences for six counts of the insider trading offence of "tipping". He passed inside information to his childhood friend Oliver Peter Curtis 25. Hartman received a 25 per cent discount to one of his sentences because he informed on his friend Curtis and his defence team made an application for him to be placed under the care of special management area protection - a special unit for informers