Oliver Curtis guilty of $1.4m insider trading scheme

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Oliver Curtis, husband of Sydney publicist Roxy Jacenko, has been found guilty conspiracy to commit insider trading following a high-profile New South Wales Supreme Court trial.

A Supreme Court jury found Curtis, 30, guilty of insider trading after a 12-day trial and deliberations spanning two days.

He was charged with conspiring with ex-best friend John Hartman in 2007 to use confidential information to bet on shifts in share prices, which earned the pair $1.43 million in a year.

Roxy Jacenko and husband Oliver Curtis on day one of the trial. Photo: AAP
Roxy Jacenko and husband Oliver Curtis on day one of the trial. Photo: AAP

Hartman told the court he was privy to information through his job as an equities dealer at Sydney boutique investment firm Orion Asset Management, when he struck an illegal deal with Curtis to use inside information and make a lot of money, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Curtis argued his trading tips were legitimate and no inside information was passed on.

Hartman pleaded guilty to a list of insider trading offences, most of which related to his own trading. He also pleaded guilty to a small number of offences relating to tips he passed on to Curtis.

He served 15 months in jail, which was a reduced sentence after he agreed to give evidence against Curtis, the court heard.

PR queen Roxy Jacenko walks side by side with husband Oliver Curtis as he faces trading trial.
PR queen Roxy Jacenko walks side by side with husband Oliver Curtis as he faces trading trial.

On day one of the trail, Crown prosecutor David Staehli SC said Curtis and Hartman had been ‘long-time friends’ that went to school together and were raised in the same suburb.

Curtis offered little reaction as the jury foreman handed down the verdict about 3pm on Thursday. But Curtis's wife appeared to wipe away tears in the moments that followed.

Curtis' father bowed his head briefly from the packed public gallery before hugging loved ones.

He has remained at liberty throughout his trial and the two days of jury deliberations that followed, and will be permitted to walk from the courthouse on Thursday on the condition that he abides by tougher bail restrictions.

The offence carries a maximum penalty of five years behind bars. Curtis is expected to face sentencing proceedings on June 17.

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