Ghanaian-born Kweku Adoboli was found guilty of UK’s biggest-ever fraud

By IndepthAfrica
In Ghana
Nov 20th, 2012
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A UBS trader was today sentenced to seven years in jail after being found guilty of the UK’s biggest ever fraud when he lost £1.4bn for his Swiss employer.

Former public schoolboy Kweku Adoboli, 32, was  ‘a gamble or two away from destroying Switzerland’s largest bank for his own gain’, Southwark Crown Court heard.

He was today found guilty of two counts of fraud but cleared of a further four counts of false accounting.

Once considered a rising star at UBS, Judge Mr Justice Keith said his fall from grace has been ‘spectacular’.

Jailing Adoboli, he added: ‘There is a strong streak of the gambler in you. You were arrogant to think the bank’s rules for traders did not apply to you.’

Guilty: Kweku Adoboli, pictured arriving at Southwark Crown Court this morning, has been convicted of two counts of fraudGuilty: Kweku Adoboli, pictured arriving at Southwark Crown Court this morning, has been convicted of two counts of fraud

Crying: Adoboli wipes a tear from his eye as Mr Justice Keith hands down his sentenceCrying: Adoboli wipes a tear from his eye as Mr Justice Keith hands down his sentence

At one point, rising star City trader Kweku Adoboli, 32, stood to run up losses of $12 billion (£7.5 billion) for UBS.

Detective Chief Inspector Perry Stokes, who led the probe into what Adoboli had done, said he was one of the most sophisticated fraudsters he had come across.

Ghanaian-born Adoboli exceeded his multimillion-pound trading limits and failed to hedge trades, faking records to cover his tracks at the Swiss bank’s London office.

He admitted the losses but claimed 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, unanimously convicted him of one count of fraud linked to the £1.4 billion loss.

He was also found guilty of a second fraud charge by majority verdict but cleared of four remaining charges of false accounting after the jury deliberated for 16-and-a-half hours across five days.

Adoboli wiped away tears as he sat in the dock during the sentencing.

Mr Justice Keith told him: ‘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.’

He added: ‘Your fall from grace as a result of these convictions is spectacular. The fact is you are profoundly unselfconscious of your own failings.’

The judge said while Adoboli had not intended to cause any loss to the bank ‘you knew that the way you were trading would inevitably expose the bank to the risk of huge losses.’

He added: ‘The tragedy for you is that you had everything going for you.’

He sentenced Adoboli to seven years for a charge of fraud by abuse of position relating to the £1.4 billion loss and four years for the other, to be served concurrently.

He will serve half in prison before being released on licence, the judge added.

UBS said in a statement: ‘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.’Daily Mail

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