Go to Jail Card: Former HSBC banker found guilty

25 October, 2017, 01:15 | Author: Lora Ball
  • British citizen who at the time of his arrest was HSBC's global head of foreign exchange cash trading exits fol

Mark Johnson, who was HSBC's head of global cash foreign exchange trading, was found guilty on nine counts, in a court room in Brooklyn, New York.

An eight-man, four-woman jury convicted him after a four-week trial in U.S. District Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis' courtroom in the Eastern District of NY. Johnson and his former colleague Stuart Scott, HSBC's European head of foreign exchange trading in London until December 2014, allegedly pocketed $3m in profit and also billed their client $5m in fees for their work.

He was arrested in July 2016 and indicted a month later in August. The charges marked the first in the US Justice Department's three-year investigation into foreign currency rigging.

A date for sentencing has not yet been set. "This Office, together with its law enforcement partners, will continue to vigorously investigate and prosecute those who would so abuse their client relationships and, more generally, undermine public confidence in the operation of the financial markets by engaging in fraudulent schemes".

Front running involves market makers dealing on advance information before delivering the information to the client. Mr. Johnson claimed his comments were taken out of context.

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The jury heard that Mark Johnson orchestrated a scheme to deal for HSBC before trading on behalf of their client Cairn Energy, who wanted to convert $3.5bn from dollars to sterling. The company desired HSBC to handle conversion of the $3.5 billion it received from a sale.

In one call, Scott and Johnson told Cairn and its financial advisor after the trade that a "Russian buyer" had been responsible for a spike in the price of pounds.

As part of the fraud, Johnson and his co-conspirators misrepresented information to the client to hide their deceit - generating $7.3m in profits.

Inspector General Lerner commented: "Such cases are challenging, but important, to bring against bank insiders who misuse their positions and undermine the integrity of a major worldwide financial institution".

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