The man at the heart of the rogue trading scandal that has plunged the Swiss investment banking giant UBS into turmoil wept yesterday as he faced fraud charges in the largest case of its kind to hit the Square Mile.
Kweku Adoboli, who had been in custody since his arrest in the early hours of Thursday, was charged over his alleged role in causing losses of £1.3bn through unauthorised trading dating to 2008.
Sue Patten, head of the Crown Prosecution Service's central fraud group, said yesterday its lawyers had authorised the City of London police to charge Mr Adoboli, 31, with "fraud by abuse of position and false accounting". Hours later, he was in the dock at the City of London magistrates' court, the first time he has been seen in public since he was led from UBS's offices in Liverpool Street.
Mr Adoboli broke down as the three charges against him were read out during a 15-minute hearing before the packed magistrates' court yesterday afternoon. The trader, wearing a pale blue V-neck jumper and an open-necked white shirt, was handed a tissue by a court clerk to wipe away tears as he was confronted with the allegations against him. He later smiled for cameras as he was led from the court to a waiting prison van. He will be held in custody until next Thursday.
The court heard that the claims of fraud against Mr Adoboli, the privately educated son of a Ghanaian former United Nations official, date back to October 2008, when he is accused of changing UBS records to conceal a transaction involving an Exchange Traded Fund, the complex and controversial financial instrument in which the trader had become a specialist.
Two other charges – one of fraud and another of false accounting – cover a period between January this year and his arrest in his office at 3.30am on Thursday.
The Delta One desk is no stranger to controversy, as it was also where Jérôme Kerviel carried out his rogue trading, which left Société Générale nursing €4.9bn losses in 2008.Reuse content