German Banker Told at Least One of His Girlfriends/Accomplices That Insider Trading Was Due Diligence

Remember the story of Thomas Ammann? The former Mizuho International investment banker of German extraction who asked his girlfriend to invest in a certain stock and pay him a portion of the profits, only it turned out he had two girlfriends, and both of them wound up on trial in a London courtroom following a Financial Services Authority insider-trading investigation?

Well, one of the women, testified in her own defense today, and taught The Observer a new sobriquet for securities fraud in the offing.

jessicamang 260x474 German Banker Told at Least One of His Girlfriends/Accomplices That Insider Trading Was Due DiligenceJessica Mang is a Hong Kong-born chiropractor who met Mr. Ammann at a London nightclub in 2009, according to Bloomberg, and began seeing her banker beau weekly. “It wasn’t just sleeping together, in my mind we were definitely boyfriend-girlfriend from the start,” Ms. Mang said in court today.

Indeed, Mr. Ammann appeared to have couched his insider-trading scheme as a show of trust, and the first steps to building a joint financial future. According to Ms. Mang, who said she’d paid Mr. Ammann’s rent on two occasions, said the Mizuho banker told her she needed to prove she trusted him: if she’d take part in his scheme, the couple could go on vacation in the Seychelles. Per Bloomberg:

The first time investing came up was during a conversation in which Mang was asking about their future together, she said.

“Somehow it got to him asking me about whether I had savings, what I did with it,” Mang said. “He said we’re trying to get to know each other better” and called it due diligence.

Mang said she didn’t know what due diligence was and “thought it was just a cute nickname he had for me.”

And so Ms. Mang invested about $62,000 in Oce, a Dutch maker of photocopiers, which prosecutors say Mr. Ammann knew was set to be acquired by Canon. The deal was made, the stock rose, and prosecutors say, Ms. Mang made off with more than $100,000 in ill-gotten gains. What she appears not to have done is due diligence of her own: While Mr. Ammann was passing inside information to Ms. Mang, he was sharing the same tip with another woman.