He Eavesdropped on Wife's Work Calls, Made $1.8M

Tyler Loudon of Texas, convicted of securities fraud, now has to surrender all of it
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2024 11:45 AM CST
He Eavesdropped on Wife's Work Calls, Made $1.8M
He ended up a divorcee, and one no richer.   (Getty Images/Tippapatt)

For many people, working from home involved drowning out the spouse working feet away at the kitchen table. For Tyler Loudon of Houston, it involved the opposite. The 42-year-old "took advantage of his remote working conditions" to listen in on his wife's work calls, gaining confidential information he turned into $1.76 million in profits, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission, which charged Loudon with insider trading. Loudon's wife was then a merger and acquisitions manager at oil firm BP. She was in a home office just 20 feet from her husband while working on BP's plans to acquire TravelCenters of America, an Ohio-based travel center and truck-stop business, per the BBC and Guardian.

After learning of the plan, Loudon bought up 46,450 shares in TravelCenters over six weeks without informing his wife, the SEC said. When BP announced the acquisition deal weeks later on Feb. 16, 2023, TravelCenters' shares spiked nearly 71%, and Loudon sold his holdings at a massive profit. He then felt compelled to confess to his wife. He claimed he was motivated by a desire to ensure his wife didn't need to work such long hours. She responded by reporting him to BP—which fired her despite her lack of involvement—moving out, and filing for divorce, per the Guardian. Loudon faces further repercussions. Having pleaded guilty to securities fraud in Houston federal court on Thursday, he must forfeit his illegal earnings. He also faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine at his sentencing in May, per Reuters. (More insider trading stories.)

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