Woman in botched insider-trading case ‘at large in Thailand'

Woman in botched insider-trading case ‘at large in Thailand'

Investment bankers got information about pending mergers and acquisitions and sold it to middlemen, according to the US Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission. (AP file photo)
Investment bankers got information about pending mergers and acquisitions and sold it to middlemen, according to the US Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission. (AP file photo)

LONDON: A woman charged in the US with involvement in a global insider-trading ring is at large in Thailand after being arrested in the UK three years ago in connection with a similar investigation, the US has said.

The woman was identified as Darina Windsor, 32, and reports listed Thailand as her native country. 

On Monday a securities trader facing extradition on US insider-trading charges was denied bail by a London judge, even as authorities in Monaco revealed that a banker arrested in the same plot walked away as the US was seeking to bring him to New York.

The three were charged by the US in a crackdown on what’s alleged to be a global insider-trading ring also targeting a Greek with a chain of Manhattan restaurants, the son of a pharmaceuticals company board member and a Goldman Sachs Group Inc vice president. The last two were arrested this month in New York, with the judge denying bail to one and demanding house arrest and a $750,000 bond for the other. The restaurant owner is at large in Greece, prosecutors said.

At a hearing in London on Monday, Joseph El-Khouri, who holds dual Lebanese-British citizenship, was deemed a flight risk in part due to the time he spent in Monaco, where the US says he’s an avid poker player. He allegedly paid Benjamin Taylor, the defendant who evaded extradition in Monaco, and Darina Windsor, the suspect identified as a native of Thailand who was arrested in 2016, at least $1 million in cash and other benefits for market-sensitive information in 2015 and personally made $2 million, according to prosecutors.

The 52-year-old trader appeared unshaven and haggard via video link from Wandsworth prison. He suffered two heart attacks last month and is taking medication for high blood pressure and cholesterol, his lawyer Edward Jones said. Jones unsuccessfully argued that the health problems, combined with his ties to London, meant El-Khouri was unlikely to flee.

Also on Monday, Monaco prosecutor Sylvie Petit-Leclair said Taylor had been released after a US request for his extradition that wasn’t made in French. Taylor, 35, was arrested in Monaco, a principality in the southeast corner of France, and was being held pending the request, Petit-Leclair said in an interview. But a court rejected the request in May because it had been filed only in English, in breach of a Monaco law requiring extradition requests to include a French translation, Petit-Leclair said.

The US attorney’s office in Manhattan declined to comment on the Monaco extradition request. US prosecutors had said in announcing the case that Taylor, who is French, is living in France, which doesn’t extradite its citizens.

Windsor was previously arrested in the UK three years ago in connection with a similar investigation, the Financial Times reported Monday, citing an unidentified person familiar with the matter and UK court records.


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