Mark Johnson, the former head of HSBC's FX global cash trading in London, was found guilty on nine counts of fraud and conspiracy and not guilty on another count, according to a spokesperson for the United States prosecutors.
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. Mr. Johnson was arrested in NY in 2016.
The prosecutors said that Johnson created a scheme to deal for HSBC before trading on behalf of the client and made illicit profits of over $7 million. Sentencing date has not been scheduled.
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According to U.S. authorities, Johnson executed the trade in a manner that drove up the price of the pound and tipped off colleagues so that they could purchase pound sterling using their HSBC proprietary accounts, benefitting the company at the expense of a client. He said that Johnson and his colleagues had tried to get a fair price for Cairn and even given Cairn a rebate.
'We are working vigorously to ensure integrity is upheld in financial services industries.
Johnson, 51, was accused of exploiting confidential information from Cairn Energy in 2011 to "front run" the oil and gas firm in the currency markets, thus making an $8m profit for the bank at the expense of its client.
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In his closing argument last week, Wing told jurors there was no way to do a massive currency transaction like the one HSBC did without affecting the price. The defense argued that Cairn was aware that advance traders would occur.
As part of the fraud, Johnson and his co-conspirators misrepresented information to the client to hide their deceit - generating $7.3m in profits.
The case was carried out by the FDIC Office of Inspector General and the FBI's Washington field office. Assistant Chiefs Carol Sipperly and Brian Young and Trial Attorney Blake Goebel of the Criminal Division's Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Lauren Elbert of the Eastern District of New York's Business and Securities Fraud Section are prosecuting the case.
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