Former HSBC banker convicted of fraud in U.S. court

Mark Johnson was HSBC's head of global cash foreign exchange trading

The 51-year-old was the first banker to be tried in the U.S. as a result of worldwide investigations into the wider multi-trillion dollar per day currency market.

They alleged that Johnson and Scott, on behalf of HSBC, bought sterling ahead of the deal, inflating the currency's value and ultimately netting a profit.

Mr Johnson, the former head of HSBC's global foreign exchange cash trading, was arrested in NY previous year.

Mr. Scott, who left HSBC in 2014, is in the United Kingdom fighting extradition and wasn't tried alongside Mr. Johnson.

A spokesman for HSBC in London declined to comment. Mr. Johnson left HSBC earlier this year.

Johnson, 51, was found guilty on nine of 10 counts of conspiracy and wire fraud by a jury in Brooklyn federal court after a four-week trial.

Prosecutors said oil and gas firm Cairn had chosen HSBC in 2011 to handle the conversion of $3.5bn (£2.7bn) in proceeds from the sale of one of its subsidiaries, into sterling. A lawyer for Mr. Scott couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

Jurors heard a tap of Johnson saying "Oh, f*cking Christmas" on learning of Cairn's decision to proceed with the trade.

Prosecutors used cooperating witnesses and the bank's recordings of Mr. Johnson's phone calls to argue he and others had conspired to use the client's confidential information to make money for HSBC and secure larger bonuses. Mark Johnson, was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation previous year at New York's JFK airport as he tried to board a flight to London.

In one call, Scott and Johnson told Cairn and its financial advisor after the trade that a "Russian buyer" had been responsible for a spike in the price of pounds. He said that Johnson and his colleagues had tried to get a fair price for Cairn and even given Cairn a rebate. In closing arguments, defense lawyer John Wing said prosecutors hadn't found "evidence of anything remotely close to criminal conduct".

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