A high-profile insider trading case before the courts at the moment in Sydney involving some of the city’s social page regulars. There hasn’t been this gripping an insider trading case for some time.
It’s the talk of the town at the moment, so here’s what you need to know:
1. John Hartman and Oliver Curtis used to be best friends. They went to school together at St Ignatius College Riverview, on Sydney’s North Shore.
2. Both come from wealthy families, and enjoyed a lavish lifestyle after high school, with travel, parties, nice cars and an expensive Bondi apartment.
3. But this all came crashing down when Hartman was convicted, and jailed for insider trading.
4. He was accused of giving Curtis tips using information he garnered through his position as a dealer at boutique fund manager Orion.
5. Hartman told the court the two of them set up a CMC Markets trading account, and had a pair of BlackBerry phones to communicate with. They used BlackBerry “pins” to send messages to each other.
6. The court also heard Curtis — who worked at a corporate advisory firm he set up with his father, a well-known businessman — was intimately involved in the trades. When Hartman was caught he confessed to the regulator, implicating his friend.
7. Hartman has already finished his jail sentence, and is now the star witness in ASIC’s case against Curtis, who has a lot to lose.
8. He is married to reality TV personality and Sydney-based publicist Roxy Jacenko. The two have been regular fixtures in the social pages, live in a multi-million dollar mansion in Woollahra and have a young daughter.
9. Back when they were friends, the court heard Hartman and Curtis would place trades, using the inside information, when they needed to make a specific purchase (see cars, parties and holidays) or to cover their personal trading loses.
10. The case is currently being heard in the Downing Centre Local Court, and could see Curtis sentenced to jail as well.
11. Curtis’ lawyers have tried to discredit Hartman by claiming he was involved allegedly rigging a horse race with his older brother, a banker at UBS.
The case continues.