Man listening in on his wife’s phone call leads to divorce and criminal charges

Photo by EKATERINA BOLOVTSOVA from Pexels

During the pandemic, many people worked from home, and some couples forgot their spouses could overhear some of their work conversations.

Sometimes, spouses overhear some things that they should not have heard.

But when this man did this after listening to his wife’s work call, it turned his world upside down, resulting in criminal charges and a divorce.

Texas man made $1.8 million after listening to a remote worker’s call

A Houston man named Tyler Loudon has been charged with insider trading by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) after he allegedly made $1.8 million by trading on confidential information that he overheard while his wife was working from home on a remote call.

Regulators say that Loudon “took advantage of his remote working conditions,” profiting from private information related to the oil firm BP and its plans to buy an Ohio-based travel center and truck-stop business last year.

According to the SEC, Loudon, who lives in Houston, Texas, listened in on several remote calls held by his wife.

Loudon’s wife was a BP merger and acquisitions manager who was working on the planned deal in her home office just 20 feet away.

Regulators say Loudon went on a buying spree and purchased over 46,000 shares in the takeover target TravelCenters of America, and he did it all without his wife’s knowledge.

The stock purchase occurred weeks before the deal was officially announced on February 16.

As a result of the deal announcement, TravelCenters of America’s stocks soared by close to 71%, and Loudon sold off his shares to make a $1.8 million profit.

Eventually, Loudon confessed to his wife, saying that he purchased the shares to make enough money so she would no longer have to work long hours.

Loudon’s wife reported the incident to her bosses at BP, and she was later fired even though there was no evidence that she leaked any private information to her husband knowingly.

She later moved out of the couple’s shared home and filed for divorce.

Regional Director of the SEC’s Fort Worth office, Eric Werner, said, “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. The SEC remains committed to prosecuting such malfeasance.”

Case fuels arguments against working from home

Some people speculate that the bombshell case will fuel new arguments for workers to stop working from home and return to the office.

It’s already happening at many companies including, Goldman Sachs, which has been forcing some of its staff to come in five days a week.

Other corporations like Google are taking office attendance into account when performing staff reviews.

Some studies have shown that working from home offers a variety of health benefits, including workers eating healthier, feeling less stressed, and having lower blood pressure.

However, those positive studies could become moot now that serious concerns about security and confidential company information are raised. 

Loudon did not deny the SEC’s allegations, which were filed at the U.S. district court for southern Texas.

He is currently facing criminal charges and has agreed to a partial judgment that will ban him from taking any company leadership roles and force him to repay the profits he made from the trade (with interest), along with an additional fine to be determined by the court.

Informed American will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.