The SEC alleges that Tyler Loudon, the husband of an M&A manager at BP, overheard several of his wife's work-related conversations about the TravelCenters deal and purchased shares of TravelCenters stock before the merger was announced on Feb. 16.

"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," SEC official Eric Werner said in a statement.

(Reporting by Ismail Shakil in Ottawa; Editing by Eric Beech)