In 2013, university friends Christopher Hill and Lukas Kamay embarked on a two-day bender during which they conceived a plan to commit under-the-radar insider trading, agreeing to work towards the goal of making $200,000.
Hill, who worked at the Australian Bureau of Statistics at the time, agreed to give unpublished data to NAB foreign exchange broker Lukas Kamay, who used the inside information to trade the Australian dollar.
This relatively small time plan ended up becoming the biggest insider trading heist in Australian history and will now be the subject of a brand new podcast, The Sure Thing from The Australian Financial Review.
The incredible true story, which turned $10,000 of seed money into $7.8 million in just nine months, will be told over a six episode series about temptation, betrayal and a dream of becoming Australia’s Wolf of Wall Street, and will launch on February 22.
Narrated by two-time Walkley Award winner and Financial Review investigative reporter Angus Grigg, The Sure Thing details a scam so simple, it could have been from a Hollywood heist movie.
“There were not a lot of moving parts,” says Hill, speaking publicly for the first time on the podcast. “Just the simplicity of it is kind of why it [the plan] went ahead.”
“I certainly couldn’t see any consequences occurring to anyone; there were no victims in my face that I was being reminded of every day. I was just giving him [Kamay] some numbers on a piece of paper and we were making a bit of money.”
Of course, Kamay made far more than just “a bit” of money, with his desire for life’s finer things leading to him amassing an illegal fortune of $7.8 million, while Hill — unaware of his friends activities — made just $20,000.
As Hill went about his business, Kamay was splurging on Rolex watches, shopping for a Ferrari and even buying a $2.375 million loft on the 2014 series of The Block from contestants Alisa and Lysandra Fraser.
The Sure Thing is the inside story of how this seemingly simple plan went spectacularly wrong and how the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission struggled for months to catch this “pair of amateurs”.
Featuring heavily throughout the podcast is Hill, white collar crime expert Clinton Free, two AFP officers and one ASIC investigator, who all worked the case.
Hill was jailed for three years while Kamay was sentenced to seven years and three months after Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Hollingworth described the case as “the worst instance of insider trading to come before the courts in this country”.
Each week the podcast will unpack the events of the case, from Hill and Kamay thinking up their plan, to the police chase, the pair’s eventual arrest and the brutality and violence of life in jail. It contemplates the culture of risk taking by young men, the worshipping of money on trading floors and if a second chance is possible for white collar criminals.