Barings Bank rogue trader Leeson not surprised by new fraud

24th January 2008, Comments 0 comments

Nick Leeson, the rogue trader whose dealings led to the collapse of Barings Bank, said he was not surprised by a new French bank fraud involving 4.9 billion euros

   DUBLIN, January 24, 2008  - Nick Leeson, the rogue trader whose dealings
led to the collapse of Barings Bank, said Thursday he was not surprised by a
new French bank fraud involving 4.9 billion euros (7.15 billion dollars).
   "It was always likely to happen," Leeson who is now the boss of a soccer
club in the west of Ireland, told AFP, while declining any more elaborate
comment.
   "By some strange coincidence I am flying to Paris tomorrow morning. I am
going over for a holiday with my wife. Can you believe that?
   "I am not making any comment. There are so many requests," said Leeson,
contacted on his mobile phone. "I have a job of work to do. There you go."
   A spokesman for Leeson's agents in London said the infamous ex-trader would
carry out two paid-for interviews on the subject, although it had not yet been
decided with which media.
   French banking giant Societe Generale said a single rogue trader carried
out a massive 4.9 billion euro fraud -- one of the biggest in the finance
industry.
   Trading in the bank's shares was suspended on the Paris stock exchange
after the revelation of the fraud along with a two-billion-euro loss stemming
from the crisis in US subprime mortgage market.
   In 1995 it was discovered that Londoner Leeson had run up trading losses of
over 850 million pounds (over 1.5 billion dollars) when he worked as a trader
in the Singapore office of Barings Bank.
   It was almost the entire assets of Barings, Britain's oldest merchant. The
bank was bought for one pound by the Dutch banking and insurance group ING.
   Leeson went on the run but was brought back to Singapore to face trial and
served four years in prison.
   While he was in prison he was diagnosed as suffering from colon cancer and
his first marriage broke down.
   After his conviction Leeson wrote a bestseller, "Rogue Trader". It was made
into a movie starring Ewan McGregor.
   Leeson, whose second wife is Irish, joined Galway United FC in 2005 as
commercial manager.
   He later became general manager and last year was appointed chief executive.
   Founded as Galway Rovers in 1937, the club plays in Ireland's premier
division.

AFP 

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