Insider-Trading Suspect El-Khouri Denied Bail by London Judge

(Bloomberg) -- A securities trader facing extradition on U.S. insider-trading charges was denied bail by a London judge.

Joseph El-Khouri, who is allegedly part of a broader insider-trading conspiracy, was deemed a flight risk by Judge Susan Bouch at a hearing Monday. The 52-year-old El-Khouri holds dual Lebanese-British citizenship.

El-Khouri is one of six people indicted by the U.S. in related cases over the past 10 days. He allegedly played a “key role” in a “sophisticated” plot to trade on market-sensitive information in 2015, personally making $2 million, Robert Jansen, a U.K. prosecutor acting on behalf the U.S., told the court.

An alleged co-conspirator in the case avoided extradition from Monaco, where El-Khouri also frequently travels, Jansen said.

“It’s feared that if he is released, he will try and flee to Monaco,” Jansen said.

El-Khouri, who was arrested last week, appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court via videolink from Wandsworth prison. He looked unshaven and haggard.

According to his lawyer, Edward Jones, the trader suffered two heart attacks last month and is taking medication for high blood pressure and cholesterol. He argued that the health issues combined with his ties to London meant that he was unlikely to flee.

“He’s not a well man,” Jones said. “He has complex medical needs which aren’t being served at HMP Wandsworth.”

According to U.S. prosecutors, El-Khouri gave expensive gifts to bankers Benjamin Taylor and Darina Windsor for trading tips. They were allegedly paid at least $1 million in cash and other benefits.

“He essentially bribed employees at banks for inside information,” Jansen said. El-Khouri is alleged to have broken U.S. law in connection with six trades.

Taylor is now in France, and Windsor in her native Thailand, according to prosecutors.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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