Man WFH Made $1.8M on BP Shares After Eavesdropping Wife’s Business Calls

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  • A Houston man pleaded guilty to insider trading after he made $1.76 million.
  • He listened to his wife’s calls about BP’s plan to buy TravelCenters of America, as they worked remotely.
  • Tyler Loudon’s has wife moved out of their shared home and initiated divorce proceedings.

A Houston man has pleaded guilty to insider trading after he made $1.76 million in illegal profits after listening in on his wife’s work calls as they worked from home.

Tyler Loudon, 42, admitted to buying thousands of shares in TravelCenters of America ahead of its $1.3bn acquisition by British oil and gas company BP in February 2023, US Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani said.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) alleged in a separate civil complaint that Loudon, who was married to a BP executive, overheard conversations about the planned takeover.

The SEC said that the couple typically worked 20 feet away from each other at home and often overheard each other’s work-related conversations.

The regulator said that Loudon purchased 46,450 shares of TravelCenters stock without his wife’s knowledge before the deal was announced.

After the announcement, the share price rose nearly 71%, and Loudon sold all that he had bought at a profit, the SEC said.

The SEC charged Tyler Loudon with insider trading. It alleged that he “took advantage of his remote working conditions and his wife’s trust to profit from information he knew was confidential.”

After learning that BP was scrutinizing who had prior knowledge of the deal, Loudon confessed to his wife what he had done. He told her he did it because he didn’t want her to work long hours anymore, said the SEC complaint.

His wife, a BP merger and acquisitions manager, told her bosses about Loudon’s revelation and was subsequently fired, despite there being no evidence of wrongdoing on her part.

She then moved out of their shared home and initiated divorce proceedings a few months later, ignoring a handwritten note from Loudon in which he apologized for violating her trust, per the complaint.

The SEC noted that Loudon had not denied the allegations and had agreed to a partial judgment subject to court approval.

It would prohibit him from taking certain senior company roles and require him to pay a penalty.

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