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Rogue trader guilty of £1.4bn fraud
A rogue trader who lost £1.4 billion in bad deals which nearly brought down a major international bank has been found guilty of two counts of fraud.
At one point during his run of losses, rising star City trader Kweku Adoboli, 32, stood to tally up losses of 12 billion US dollars (£7.5 billion) for employer UBS.
The Ghanaian-born former public schoolboy was accused of exceeding his multi million-pound trading limits and failing to hedge trades, faking records to cover his tracks at the Swiss bank's London office.
He admitted the losses but claimed that he was pressured by staff to take risks, culminating in bad deals which wiped £2.8 billion off the bank's share value when they were discovered.
The jury at Southwark Crown Court in London convicted him unanimously of one count of fraud linked to the £1.4 billion loss. He was found guilty of a second fraud charge by majority verdict but cleared of four remaining charges of false accounting.
Adoboli joined UBS as a graduate trainee in 2003 and, at the time of the fraud, worked for its global synthetic equities division, buying and selling exchange traded funds (ETFs), which track different types of stocks, bonds or commodities such as metals.
The prosecution said he was a gambler who believed he had the "magic touch". But, giving evidence, he said everything he had done was aimed at benefiting the bank, where he viewed his colleagues as "family".
Adoboli said he had "lost control in the maelstrom of the financial crisis", and was doing well until he changed from a conservative "bearish" position to an aggressive "bullish" stance under pressure from senior managers.
He told the jury that staff were encouraged to take risks until they got "a slap on the back of the wrist". Mr Justice Keith adjourned sentencing until this afternoon.
Prosecutor Sasha Wass QC said that Crown would not be pursuing confiscation proceedings in the case, nor would there be any application for compensation.