March 1, 2013 8:53 pm

Adoboli appeals on fraud conviction

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Kweku Adoboli, the former UBS trader whose unauthorised trading led to losses of $2.3bn at the Swiss bank, has requested an appeal against his conviction after being jailed for Britain’s biggest banking fraud.

The banker, who is serving a seven year prison sentence, has taken the first step in the process by lodging papers at the Court of Appeal’s criminal division. The court must decide whether to hear the case.

Mr Adoboli was found guilty on two counts of fraud by abuse of position, including one count relating to the unauthorised $2.3bn of losses he racked up at UBS.

A jury at Southwark Crown Court returned not guilty verdicts on four other charges of false accounting, which related to fictitious hedging trades, and fictitious cash-only trades, which he had allegedly booked to conceal that risk.

By not convicting him of false accounting charges, it appears the jury found he did not seek any personal gain from his actions.

In his defence, Adoboli argued that everything he did was for the benefit of the bank, which he loved “like family”. He claimed that other co-workers on the ETFs desk, management and the back office knew what he was doing and turned a blind eye as long as he was making profits.

Prosecutors had alleged during the 10-week trial that Adoboli had “fraudulently gambled” away the bank’s money, exceeded his intraday trading limits of $100m and made unhedged trades by “inventing fictitious deals” to distort his risk position which then exposed the bank to huge losses.

UBS said it did not wish to comment. Tim Harris of Bark & Co, who represented Mr Adoboli, could not be reached for comment.

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