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NRI journalist, Anil Bhoyru found guilty for manipulating the stock market


Bhoyrul spared jail over ramping

Telegraph, London, Jan 21, 2005
By Russell Hotten (Filed: 21/01/2006)

Former Daily Mirror financial journalist Anil Bhoyrul escaped jail yesterday when a judge ordered him to perform 180 hours of community service as punishment for his role in the "City Slickers" share-ramping scandal.

Anil Bhoyrul leaves St Albans Crown Court yesterday
The sentencing of Bhoyrul's ex-colleague, James Hipwell, was deferred pending medical reports, but Mr Justice Beaston told him that his offence was so "serious that only a custodial sentence can be justified".

A third man, private investor Terry Shepherd, who conspired with the journalists, was sentenced to three months in prison, though the judge told him he will only have to serve half of that.

Bhoyrul, 38, and Hipwell, 39, made thousands of pounds in 1999 and 2000 by buying shares, tipping them in their Slickers newspaper column, and selling when the price rose. Prosecutors cited 44 instances of share ramping, often using inaccurate information. Later they were joined by Shepherd, 38, who leaked their tips on the internet.

After a four-year investigation by the Department of Trade and Industry the three were charged under the Financial Services Act with conspiring to create a misleading impression as to the value of shares.

The judge said he had taken into account the length of time the case had taken to come to trial, and also the fact that the Daily Mirror had "no formal code of conduct for the journalists" and that "there was no guidance from your superiors".

Bhoyrul appeared delighted and said that he now wanted to put it all behind him. In a statement via his solicitor, Bhoyrul denied that he had intended to "deliberately mislead" the public and insisted his share dealing had always been "transparent".

He now works in Dubai as a magazine editor and his lawyers hope the community service can be done consecutively over a few weeks so that he can quickly return to his job.

The judge directed him to pay back the £14,800 he made from the tipping scam within six months or face nine months in jail. The judge told Bhoyrul he deserved credit for having pleaded guilty, prompting the sentence of "unpaid work for the benefit of the community".

Hipwell, who made about £41,000 from the scam, pleaded not guilty, which will weigh heavily when the judge comes to decide on a possible custodial sentence. The journalist, who received a kidney transplant, provided medical evidence that his health was deteriorating and that he may have to go back on dialysis. He returns to hospital for tests next week and a report will be given to the judge.

The judge told Shepherd, 36, who pleaded not guilty, that he had no alternative but to give him a custodial sentence. "You may have come into it [the scam] by accident but you then became really enthusiastic, telephoning the Slickers regularly for information about the pending tips."

Martin Saunders, a litigation partner at Clifford Chance, said yesterday that people should not regard community service as a light sentence, saying it is "intended to send a serious signal."

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An NRI journalist, Anil Bhoyru found guilty for manipulating the stock market through his newspaper column

"a misleading impression as to the value of shares."