UPDATE 1-Ex Logica manager in UK court on insider trading charges

Wed Feb 11, 2015 10:04am EST
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LONDON Feb 11 (Reuters) - A former financial planning manager of Logica Plc, an Information Technology services company owned by Canadian peer CGI Group Inc, appeared in a London court on Wednesday to face insider trading charges.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said 33-year-old Ryan Tony Willmott had been charged with three offences of passing on confidential, price-sensitive information relating to trading in Logica stock in May and June 2012, the year CGI bought the firm.

Willmott was summoned to attend the hearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court, where he was told to appear at London's higher Southwark Crown Court on Feb. 18. The FCA cautioned that the hearing date might change, however.

Willmott did not enter an early plea and his lawyer, Alan Burcombe at law firm Wells Burcombe, declined to comment.

The FCA, which prosecutes insider trading cases in Britain, declined to comment on whether Willmott was part of a wider investigation into any ring. Insider trading is a criminal offence that can be punishable by a fine and up to seven years in prison.

The regulator has been cracking down on market abuse in an attempt to restore public faith in financial services in the wake of the last credit crisis and a series of mis-selling and market rigging scandals.

It has secured 25 convictions for insider trading since 2009 and is currently prosecuting eight other individuals for the offence.

(Reporting by Kirstin Ridley; Editing by Crispian Balmer)