Skip to main content

7 years in prison for former UBS trader Adoboli in fraud case

By the CNN Wire Staff
November 21, 2012 -- Updated 0204 GMT (1004 HKT)
Former UBS banker Kweku Adoboli arrives at Southwark Crown Court in London on Friday.
Former UBS banker Kweku Adoboli arrives at Southwark Crown Court in London on Friday.
  • NEW: Former trader Kweku Adoboli is sentenced to seven years in prison
  • Adoboli was convicted Tuesday on two counts of fraud and acquitted on four other charges
  • His actions constituted "pure and simple" fraud, a prosecutor says
  • He was charged in connection with a $2.3 billion loss in unauthorized trading at UBS

London (CNN) -- A former trader for Swiss banking giant UBS was convicted Tuesday on two counts of fraud and sentenced to seven years in prison over what prosecutors called a "staggering" $2.3 billion loss in unauthorized trading.

The court found Kweku Adoboli guilty of two counts of fraud by abuse of position. He was acquitted on four other charges. The court sentenced him to seven years in prison on one count and four years on the other. The sentences will run concurrently, authorities said.

Read more: Accused UBS bank trader 'sorry beyond words'

The loss was among the largest ever to a bank in unauthorized trading, analysts have said.

UBS: What went wrong?
Suspected rogue trader charged with fraud

Prosecutors said the case boiled down to simple dishonesty.

"Behind all the technical financial jargon in this case, the question for the jury was whether Kweku Adoboli had acted dishonestly, in causing a loss to the bank of $2.3 (billion)," Andrew Penhale, deputy head of the Crown Prosecution Service, said in a statement. "He did so, by breaking the rules, covering up and lying. In any business context, his actions amounted to fraud, pure and simple."

"The amount of money involved was staggering, impacting hugely on the bank but also on their employees, shareholders and investors," he said. "This was not a victimless crime."

UBS issued a statement saying it is pleased the case is over and thanked authorities, but declined further comment.

Adoboli, who denied the charges against him, was "sorry beyond words" for the UBS loss, his lawyer said last year.

British authorities charged the trader September 16, one day after his arrest over the unauthorized deals at UBS.

Britain's Financial Services Authority, the Serious Fraud Office and the Crown Prosecution Service were involved in investigating the case.

Read more: UBS revises loss up to $2.3 billion in unauthorized trade

UBS said none of its clients' funds were affected by the losses.

The company posted a profit in the third quarter despite "the unauthorized trading incident," it said in its quarterly report, but its investment banking division recorded a loss of 650 million Swiss francs ($708 million).

The charges against Adoboli led to the resignation of UBS chief executive Oswald J. Gruebel two days later.

At the time, UBS chairman Kaspar Villiger said in a statement the bank regretted Gruebel's decision.

Gruebel "feels that it is his duty to assume responsibility for the recent unauthorized trading incident. It is testimony to his uncompromising principles and integrity," Villiger said.

Part of complete coverage on
October 9, 2014 -- Updated 0804 GMT (1604 HKT)
Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea -- the three countries facing the biggest health crisis -- are also facing huge bills to try and contain the virus.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1316 GMT (2116 HKT)
Twitter has lost its position in the top 20 coolest brands for the first time in three years.
September 25, 2014 -- Updated 1554 GMT (2354 HKT)
As the crisis in Iraq escalates, CNN looks at how Iraq could crack down on ISIS' oil riches under the guidance of its new oil minister, Adel Abdul Mahdi.
August 29, 2014 -- Updated 0842 GMT (1642 HKT)
Recep Tayyip Erdogan is Turkey's new president . So can he revitalize its economic fortunes?
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1724 GMT (0124 HKT)
Experts share their tips on cities they see as emerging financial hubs...they're not where you think.
October 9, 2014 -- Updated 1511 GMT (2311 HKT)
Growing numbers of us are willing to serve as bank, teacher or travel agent to people we have never met, and entrust them to serve us in turn.
August 28, 2014 -- Updated 1244 GMT (2044 HKT)
The European Union is stepping in to save its dairy from going sour.
August 18, 2014 -- Updated 1236 GMT (2036 HKT)
Europe's deteriorating relationship with Russia has hit the region's growth, even before new food sanctions begin to bite.
July 16, 2014 -- Updated 1634 GMT (0034 HKT)
With cyberattacks on the rise and here to stay, it's a modern-day challenge for people and businesses to get smarter about preventing them.
August 14, 2014 -- Updated 1324 GMT (2124 HKT)
Airstrikes, rebels seizing control of oil fields, plus a severe refugee crisis are a recipe for market panic. So why are Iraq oil prices stable?
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1124 GMT (1924 HKT)
Peer-to-peer finance lets businesses bypass bank loans. Creative companies with quirky ideas find new lending models advantageous.
July 20, 2014 -- Updated 1524 GMT (2324 HKT)
Evidence points to pro-Russian separatists as perpetrators of the attack and Vladimir Putin is facing questions, David Clark writes.
September 3, 2014 -- Updated 0952 GMT (1752 HKT)
CNN's Jim Boulden looks on the future of online shopping.
August 5, 2014 -- Updated 1440 GMT (2240 HKT)
The biggest Ebola outbreak in history is taking its toll in Western Africa, hitting some of West Africa's most vulnerable economies.