A City trader accused of the biggest banking fraud in British corporate history appeared in court for the start of his trial. Ghanaian-BornKweku Adoboli, 32, allegedly gambled away £1.5bn on the stock markets while working for Swiss Bank UBS.
He faces two counts of fraud and two counts of false accounting having been accused of losing the money as a result of a series of unauthorised trades.
Adoboli sat in court on Monday [Sep 10] morning, dressed in dark suit, white shirt, and red tie, as a jury panel was selected to try him over the coming eight weeks. Supported by friends and former-colleagues, the trader and son of a former Ghanaian official to the United Nations, looked relaxed as proceeding began.
More than 40 potential jurors have been selected which will be whittled down to a panel of 16 from which 12 will be sworn.
Addressing the court before jury selection began Mr Justice Keith said: ‘The case which is about to take place in this court is a fraud case. ‘The defendant, who is the man sitting in the dock behind the glass panels, worked as a trader for UBS and he is said to have lost over £2bn in the trades he made.
The case is expected to last up to eight weeks after it is opened on Friday by prosecutor Sasha Wass QC.
Adoboli, a senior trader at UBS, is said to have ‘dishonestly abused’ his position by ignoring managers’ advice as to how much he was allowed to trade.
The first alleged offence is said to have taken place between October 2008 and June 2011, and the second between May 31 and September 17 last year.
Prosecutors say Adoboli falsified records and created fictitious onward transactions in a bid to cover up the US$2.3bn risk he exposed the firm to.
He was arrested at his desk during a swoop by City of London Police in the early hours of September 15 last year.
Adoboli, of Whitechapel, east London, denies two counts of fraud by abuse of position and two charges of false accounting.