Singapore court sentences Leeson to six years' jail

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The Independent Online


Nick Leeson, the 28-year-old derivatives trader who brought down Barings bank, was jailed for six-and-a half years in Singapore early today after admitting charges of deception and cheating. The sentence runs from 2 March this year.

Leeson appears to have struck a deal with the Singapore authorities to reduce the time he will spend in prison. His lawyer, John Koh, told the court that his client had assisted the authorities with their investigation into the Barings collapse "on a daily basis". In return, the government set aside 9 of the 11 charges against him and amended a more serious charge of forgery, which would have carried a maximum sentence of 14 years.

Leeson was charged with cheating Barings' auditors, Coopers and Lybrand, by telling them he had enough money to cover his trading activities and with deceiving Simex, the Singapore International Monetary Exchange, and persuading it to release more than pounds 76m.

Mr Koh said that "contrary to speculation, there are no secret profits. Our client has no assets." Proceeds from a pounds 450,000 deal for his memoirs "will go to the agent, the ghostwriter, English and German lawyers and Singapore counsel". Mr Koh revealed that Leeson's wife, Lisa, had suffered a miscarriage at the end of January.

Leeson points finger, page 5