Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Lavish New York Flat for HSBC Chief Awaiting Trial over PS6m Fraud

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Lavish New York Flat for HSBC Chief Awaiting Trial over PS6m Fraud

Article excerpt

Byline: Benedict Moore-Bridger and Daniel Bates in New York

AN HSBC executive charged with fraud in the US will be living in a luxury New York apartment costing up to PS15,000 a month while he awaits trial, it emerged today.

Mark Johnson, the bank's global head of foreign exchange trading, was arrested for alleged currency rigging over a PS2.7 billion transaction.

The US Department of Justice said Johnson, 50, allegedly conspired to defraud an HSBC client through a "front running" scheme that it is claimed netted more than PS6 million.

The Briton, who lives in the US, was detained on Tuesday as he landed at JFK International Airport and released yes terday by Brooklyn federal court on bail of $1 million (PS755,000).

He will be living in an Art Deco-style pre-war apartment block on Manhat tan's Upper West Side near Central Park. The property has a roof terrace with barbecue, pet spa, 24-hour con cierge and health club.

Foubedroom flats in the building are among New York's most expensive, at PS15,000 a month to rent.

Johnson was charged along with a second Briton -- Stuart Scott, 43, HSBC's ex-head of foreign exchange cash trad ing for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, who lives in the UK. The pair are accused of misusing confidential infor mation provided to them in 2011 by a client who planned to convert $3.5 bil lion into British pounds.

It is claimed that the two executives bought sterling themselves before hand ling the order because they knew such a large transaction would push up the value of the currency and allow them to make money.

The "front running" enabled them to generate $8 million (PS6 million), some of it illegally, to the benefit of HSBC and at their client's expense, it is alleged.

US prosecutors cited emails and con versations that allegedly indicated the two men plotted to see how high they could raise the dollar to pound exchange rate before the clients would "squeal". …

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