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Former UBS Trader Who Lost Billions Is Convicted

Former UBS trader Kweku Adoboli on Sept. 18, 2012.
Former UBS trader Kweku Adoboli on Sept. 18, 2012.

Kweku Adoboli will spend seven years in prison for his unauthorized trades at UBS. A British court convicted him on two counts of fraud for losing $2.3 billion dollars in his risky bets over several years, ending in 2011.

Adoboli was acquitted of four other charges involving false accounting; the Financial Times says that means the jury found he wasn't trying to seek personal gain from what he did. In fact, he testified the losses came as he tried to cover up an earlier $400,000 trading loss. As Eyder reported previously, Adoboli confessed what he'd done to his superiors: their internal controls had failed to spot him.

Adoboli denied the other fraud charges, claiming the Swiss bank pressured its traders to take extreme risks. He added his co-workers knew what was going on. But prosecutors didn't buy it, calling him 'arrogant' and a 'gambler', says the New York Times. He was arrested more than a year ago after he made a wrong call on the direction of the financial markets, roiled by European financial instability. At the five-day trial, a senior UBS official testified Adoboli exposed his employer to losses of as much as $12 billion.

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