Business, Economics and Jobs

UBS rogue trader Kweku Adoboli jailed for $2bn fraud

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Former UBS banker Kweku Adoboli, accused of losing $2.3 billion through fraudulent deals at the bank's London offices, arrives at Southwark Crown Court in London on November 20, 2012.

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ANDREW COWIE

Kweku Adoboli, a "rogue trader" who lost UBS more than $2 billion, has been convicted of fraud and jailed for seven years.

A jury in London today found him guilty of two counts of fraud, the BBC reported. He was acquitted of four charges of false accounting.

Ghanaian-born Adoboli, 32, was arrested in Britain last September, when the Swiss bank discovered a loss of $2.3 billion due to unauthorized trading.

It has been called the biggest fraud in British history.

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According to Reuters, Adoboli admitted to exceeding authorized risk limits and concealing his true positions when he worked as a senior trader of exchange-traded funds at UBS's investment banking arm in London.

Yet he denied he acted as a rogue trader, the BBC said, telling the jury that his managers were not only aware of his trades but encouraged him to take risks.

The Financial Times said Adoboli made UBS millions of dollars of profits – including $6 million in one day alone – until eventually losing control of his trades as the European debt crisis roiled the markets in the summer of 2011.

While he maintained that his actions were all due to his devotion to the firm, the prosecution portrayed him as "a reckless gambler obsessed with his status as a rising star and desperate to boost his bonus," the Guardian wrote. At the time of his arrest, he was making a combined salary and bonus of £360,000 ($573,000).

Meanwhile the risks he was taking came close to "destroying" UBS, prosecutors said. The bank recently announced it would ditch much of its investment banking business, axing 10,000 jobs in the process.

Given time already spent in custody and elegibility for probation, Adoboli will probably spend around two and a half years in jail, Reuters said.

More from GlobalPost: Telling Swiss secrets: A banker's betrayal