It’s positively titillating, the story that’s rocked the Sydney social set: two attractive young men, educated at Sydney’s finest establishments, a tragedy in the vein of Dumas or F. Scott Fitzgerald, all coming unwound in the public eye.
John Hartman was sent to prison more than two years ago for insider trading. The son of wealthy Sydney obstetrician Keith Hartman, John had been detected by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission “front running” shares — that is, he would purchase or sell contracts for difference (CFDs — effectively a highly leveraged contract on an asset). Hartman was sentenced to more than four years in prison, the harshest sentence ever handed down for insider trading in this country. He served his (later reduced) sentence in a grim facility alongside murderers and war criminals.