UBS rogue trader Kweku Adoboli jailed for seven years over 'UK's biggest fraud'
Tuesday, 20 November 2012
*Former UBS trader Kweku Adoboli wiped away tears as he was jailed for seven years after being found guilty of what police dubbed the biggest-ever fraud in the UK.*
Kweku Adoboli was accused in court of thinking he had the 'magic touch' (Picture: AFP/Getty)
At Southwark crown court the 32-year-old was convicted of two counts of fraud, one in relation to a loss of £1.4billion, and cleared of four counts of false accounting.
Passing sentence, Mr Justice Keith said there was a 'strong streak of the gambler' in Ghanaian-born Adoboli, who faked records to cover his tracks.
City of London police detectives, who investigated the fraud, said Adoboli was 'one of the most sophisticated fraudsters' they had ever encountered.
Jurors, who returned a majority verdict on the second count of fraud, had heard Adoboli accused of failing to hedge trades after exceeding his multimillion pound trading limits, leaving him at one point on the brink of losses of $12billion (£7.5billion).
Around £2.8billion was wiped off the share value of UBS when the losses were discovered prior to his arrest in September last year.
Adoboli joined UBS as a graduate trainee in 2003, ultimately working for its global synthetic equities division where he bought and sold exchange traded funds (ETFs), which track different types of stocks, bonds or commodities.
Prosecutors alleged in court that Adoboli thought he had the 'magic touch', but the trader claimed he put the interests of his bank, which he described as 'family', above everything else.
UBS thanked authorities for their handling of the case (Picture: Reuters)
But Mr Justice Keith ruled: 'Whatever the verdict of the jury you would forever have been known as the man responsible for the largest trading loss in British banking history.'
The presiding judge added: 'Your fall from grace as a result of these convictions is spectacular. The fact is you are profoundly unselfconscious of your own failings.'
Speaking outside court, Detective Chief Inspector Perry Stokes, from the City of London police, said: 'To all those around him, Kweku Adoboli appeared to be a man on the make whose career prospects and future earnings were taking off. He worked hard, looked the part and seemingly had an answer for everything.
'But behind this facade lay a trader who was running completely out of control and exposing UBS to huge financial risks on a daily basis.'
DCI Stokes continued: 'Rules put in place to protect the bank's position and the integrity of the markets were being bypassed and broken by a young man who wanted it all and was not willing to wait.
'When Adoboli's pyramid of fictitious trades, exceeded trading limits and non-existent hedging came crashing down, the repercussions were felt in financial centres around the world.'
He added: 'Now, just a year on, he is facing the reality that he was not above the law and will be made to pay for his crimes. Others who tread a similar path to his can expect the same fate.'
In a statement marking the end of proceedings, UBS said: 'We are glad that the criminal proceedings have reached a conclusion and thank the police and the UK authorities for their professional handling of this case. We have no further comment.'