Britain’s Biggest Ever Fraud: Ghanaian ‘Rogue Trader’ Awaits Verdict

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The
jury in the trial of a UBS trader accused of gambling away $2.3 billion (1.8
billion euros) at the bank’s London offices retired on Wednesday to consider
their verdict.

Kweku Adoboli, 32, who stands accused of committing
Britain’s biggest ever fraud, has claimed senior managers were fully aware of
his activities and encouraged him to take risks to make profits for UBS. He denies any wrongdoing, saying he was pressured
by managers to take risks.

But prosecutors claim that in a bid to boost his
status and bonuses Adoboli exceeded his trading limits and faked records to
cover his tracks.

Prosecution lawyer Sasha Wass told jurors that he
was “a gamble or two away from destroying Switzerland’s largest bank for his
own gain”.
She said: “He did all of this by exceeding his
trading limits, by inventing fictitious deals to conceal this and then he lied
to his bosses.
“Mr Adoboli’s motive for this behaviour was to
increase his bonus, his status within the bank, his job prospects and of course
his ego.
“Like most gamblers, he believed he had the magic
touch. Like most gamblers, when he lost, he caused chaos and disaster to
himself and all of those around him.”
Southwark Crown Court in London heard during the
two-month trial that at one point he was at risk of causing the bank losses of
$12 billion.
But Adoboli, the privately-educated son of a
Ghanaian former UN official, told jurors that he had dedicated his life to
benefiting the bank and viewed his colleagues at UBS’s London offices as
“family”.
He was in tears as he gave evidence, saying what he
had done was “not fraudulent — it is finding a way to do your job”.
Adoboli is accused of two counts of fraud and four
counts of false accounting between October 2008 and September 2011.

 

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