Rifat, Other Accused Insider-Traders See Assets Frozen

Mar 31 2010 | 2:36am ET

The seven men arrested last week on insider-trading charges in Britain will have to make due with much less as the investigation unfolds.

The U.K. Serious Organised Crime Agency has frozen the assets of the accused, including Moore Capital Management trader Julian Rifat. The seven are allowed to spend just £300 per week, roughly US$450, an amount relatively close to Britain’s minimum wage.

Those arrested include several high-profile City bankers, traders and executives, men used to living the high life. But they must cover all of their expenses out of the £300, including legal expenses, unless they can convince a court to raise their spending limit or have their assets freed.

If not, they had better get used to their reduced circumstances: The Financial Services Authority has said the men might not be charged for more than a year as the investigation continues. It is believed that the regulator is looking into whether the accused were front-running block trades.

Rifat remains on Moore’s payroll. But the hedge fund has placed him on administrative leave. Rifat has denied any wrongdoing.

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