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Kweku Adoboli guilty over '1.4bn fraud'
From: BBC          Published On: November 20, 2012, 12:27 GMT
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Kweku Adoboli guilty over '1.4bn fraud'

Kweku Adoboli cried while giving evidence during the trial

A City trader who lost 1.4bn ($2.2bn) of Swiss bank UBS's money has been found guilty of one count of fraud.

Kweku Adoboli, 32, of Whitechapel, east London, denied four charges of false accounting and two of fraud between October 2008 and September 2011.

The prosecution told Southwark Crown Court he was "a gamble or two away from destroying Switzerland's largest bank".

Adoboli said he was encouraged to take risks by his bosses. The jury is deliberating on the other charges.

Adoboli, who was arrested on 15 September 2011, worked in UBS's global synthetic equities division, buying and selling exchange traded funds (ETFs), which track stocks, bonds and commodities.

He had joined the bank as a junior trader in 2006.

The court was told Adoboli lost 1.4bn of the bank's money in "unprotected, unhedged, incautious and reckless" trades.

But Adoboli, the Ghana-born son of a diplomat, told the jury his senior managers were aware of his actions and encouraged him to take risks.

'Magic touch'

He claimed he lost control over his trades during a period of market turbulence last year.

The court heard that at one point he stood to lose the bank 7.5bn ($12bn).

The judge, Mr Justice Keith, gave the jury a majority verdict direction, saying they could deliver a 9-1 verdict on the remaining five charges.

The jury has been reduced to five men and five women after two jurors were discharged.

The prosecution said Adoboli was a gambler who believed he had the "magic touch".

But, giving evidence, Adoboli 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".

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