Man pleads guilty to insider trading after listening to wife’s calls while working from home

Tyler Loudon’s wife worked at BP when he committed insider trading, the SEC complaint said (Getty Images)
Tyler Loudon’s wife worked at BP when he committed insider trading, the SEC complaint said (Getty Images)

Remote workers should be sure to invest in some headphones and private workspaces after a Texas man pleaded guilty to insider trading after listening to his wife’s work calls.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged Tyler Loudon of Houston with insider trading last week, alleging he made $1.76m in illegal profits, according to the complaint. The 42-year-old pleaded guilty to insider trading, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas, agreeing to forfeit his profits.

His sentencing is scheduled for May — he faces up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.

Officials with the SEC wrote that last year, Loudon learned from his wife’s work calls that the company she worked for, BP, would be acquiring TravelCenters of America (TA), a truck stop and travel centre in Ohio. The complaint says Loudon purchased several TA stocks and sold them just after the acquisition was announced.

The couple sometimes worked within 20 feet of each other, the complaint said, allowing Loudon to hear his wife’s work calls. His wife also admitted to discussing aspects of the merger with her husband — however, Loudon “knew, or was severely reckless in not knowing” the information was confidential, according to the complaint.

Loudon’s wife wasn’t aware of his actions until he confessed to her in April 2023, the SEC said in the complaint. She then reported the incident to BP. After reviewing her correspondence and finding no evidence she participated in or knew about his alleged activity, BP “nonetheless terminated her employment,” the complaint read.

They are now in the middle of divorce proceedings, per the complaint.

As Loudon was brokering a plea deal, a federal jury convicted a medical device company executive of insider trading.

Doron Tavlin was the vice president for business development at Mazor Robotics’ Minneapolis office in 2018 when he engaged in insider trading, prosecutors say, earning a profit of $500,000 for himself and another person. His accomplice, Afshin Farahan, pleaded guilty to an insider trading charge in 2022.

When contacted regarding the termination of Loudon’s wife, BP told The Independent they typically do not comment on personnel matters.