by The Compliance Exchange on September 14, 2012
“Naked gambling” by UBS trader Kweku Adoboli nearly brought down the massive Swiss bank as he wagered up to $12 billion, cooked the books and lied to bosses until his “pyramid of fraud” collapsed, a prosecutor told a London court on Friday.
Adoboli, the 32-year-old son of a U.N. diplomat from Ghana, is on trial by jury accused of fraud and false accounting that in the end cost UBS $2.3 billion. He has pleaded not guilty.
“He was a gamble or two away from destroying Switzerland’s largest bank for his own benefit,” counsel Sasha Wass told the jury at the end of her opening statement, which lasted all day.
“In effect, Mr. Adoboli was betting the entire bank on the toss of a coin,” she said, describing the defendant as “a greedy banker, out of control and out for himself”.
Losses in the double-digit billions could have been fatal to UBS at a time when it was trying to recover from previous colossal losses during the 2008 financial crisis, when the Swiss government had to step in to rescue it.
Read the full at Reuters.