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The husband of a former BP manager is facing possible prison time and a divorce after admitting to profiting from stock trades he made based on information he had gleaned from his wife’s calls while she had been working from home for the energy giant.

Tyler Loudon, 42, pleaded guilty to securities fraud in Houston federal court and has agreed to hand over the $1.7 million in ill-gotten gains he raked in, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas announced Thursday.

Authorities say his wife was not aware of the trades.

“We allege that Mr. Loudon took advantage of his remote working conditions and his wife’s trust to profit from information he knew was confidential,” said Eric Werner, regional director of the SEC’s Fort Worth Regional Office. “The SEC remains committed to prosecuting such malfeasance.”

Loudon’s sentencing in the case is slated for May 17, and he could be hit with as much as five years behind bars and a maximum $250,000 fine. 

Also Thursday, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged Loudon with insider trading in a separate civil case, which he has agreed to settle.

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According to the SEC’s complaint, Loudon’s wife was working as a mergers and acquisitions manager with BP when she was assigned to work on the international oil company’s planned purchase of truck stop operator TravelCenters of America. 

cars lined up at a BP gas station

Authorities said that Loudon bought 46,450 TravelCenters shares without his wife’s knowledge over a 1.5-month period after overhearing several work conversations about the planned $1.3 billion TravelCenters takeover while she was working remotely.

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TravelCenters’ share price rose 71% after the takeover was announced on February 16, 2023, and Loudon quickly sold his shares, authorities said.

According to the SEC, Loudon stunned his wife by admitting that he had bought the shares to make enough money that she could work shorter hours.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
BP BP PLC 35.38 -0.11 -0.31%

The SEC said BP later put Loudon’s wife on administrative leave and then fired her despite finding no proof that she had knowingly leaked the takeover or known about her husband’s trading.

She moved out of the house she had shared with Loudon and began divorce proceedings last June, the SEC added.

When reached by FOX Business for comment, a BP spokesperson said that the company has nothing to add to what is in the DOJ and SEC documents, and it does not typically comment on personnel matters.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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