Jan. 25 (Bloomberg) -- David Einhorn and Greenlight Capital Inc. were fined 7.2 million pounds ($11.2 million) by the U.K.’s financial regulator for trading on inside information in Punch Taverns Plc in 2009. Einhorn, Greenlight’s 43-year-old chairman, was told of Punch Taverns’s plan to sell equity by a broker representing the company, the Financial Services Authority said in an e-mailed statement today. He then sold more than 11 million Punch Tavern shares over the following four days, avoiding losses of about 5.8 million pounds for the fund, the regulator said.
“The big name and the big number” are what the FSA wants, Louise Hodges, a financial-crime defense lawyer at Kingsley Napley LLP in London, said in a telephone interview today. “It looks like it’s more a case of he should have known, rather than he did know,” his actions were illegal.
Greenlight said the market abuse was “inadvertent” and the regulator agreed it wasn’t deliberate or reckless. The fine won’t come out of Greenlight funds, the New York-based firm said in a statement.
The FSA is imposing stricter supervision after being criticized for failing to prevent the U.K.’s worst financial crisis since the World War II. The fine against Einhorn, 3.64 million pounds, is the second-largest civil penalty levied against an individual by the FSA after a $9.6 million fine against Dubai-based investor Rameshkumar Goenka in November.
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