Oliver Curtis, the jailed banker and husband of high-profile Sydney publicist Roxy Jacenko, won’t be home for Christmas, having lost his appeal against an insider-trading conviction.
Oliver Curtis has been in jail since June and will stay inside for at least a year after being found guilty conspiring to commit 45 illicit trades through which the 31-year-old and then-friend John Hartman swindled $1.43 million.
Neither Ms Jacenko nor Curtis appeared at the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal, where the appeal was dismissed in a brief judgment on Friday morning.
During trial, the jury heard the former banker made trades between May 27 and June 2008 based on confidential information that Hartman possessed as an employee of Orion Asset Management.
“There was also evidence of the profits being used to pay for the rent of an apartment in Bondi shared by (Curtis) and Hartman and other items given to Hartman by (Curtis) including a Ducati motorcycle,” appeal court Justices Anthony Payne, Derek Price and David Davies wrote in their judgment.
“A number of payments of various amounts were also made to Mr Hartman.”
Court documents show Curtis prepaid $156,000 rent for the pair’s apartment, while in October 2007 Hartman was paid $20,000 and the following January he was slipped a further $50,000.
On May 23, 2007, two days before the lucrative scam started, Curtis bought Hartman a Blackberry.
“Hartman provided the trading instructions to the appellant via a secure service referred to as ‘pinning’, whereby a message, similar to a text message, could be covertly sent from Hartman to (Curtis) using a Blackberry device,” the justices said.
The next day, Curtis opened a trading account with an $80,000 deposit and on May 25, 2007, the rort began.
The appeal relied on one technical ground from which Curtis’ lawyers argued “the verdict is unreasonable or cannot be supported by the evidence”.
The three judges, however, disagreed unanimously.
“The verdict was not unreasonable,” they said.
“The appeal should be dismissed.”