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UBS Trader Kweku Adoboli supporters launch appeal to fight deportation

Mr Adoboli was jailed for seven years over Britain’s biggest banking fraud after being convicted of two counts of fraud for abuse of position including one count relating to the unauthorised $2.3bn of losses.

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Kweku Adoboli at City of London magistrates' court in 2011 play

Kweku Adoboli at City of London magistrates' court in 2011

(© Bloomberg)

Supporters of Kweku Adoboli, the former UBS trader whose unauthorised trading led to losses of $2.3bn at the Swiss bank, have launched a crowdfunding appeal to help him fight deportation from the UK.

Mr Adoboli was jailed for seven years over Britain’s biggest banking fraud after being convicted of two counts of fraud for abuse of position including one count relating to the unauthorised $2.3bn of losses. A jury at Southwark Crown Court acquitted him of four counts relating to false accounting after his 10-week trial in 2012.

Mr Adoboli, born in Ghana, was released last year after serving half his sentence. Since then, in addition to being banned by the Financial Conduct Authority, the financial regulator, from working in the financial sector, Mr Adoboli has been unable to work at all due to Home Office deportation rules.

He has been fighting possible deportation to Ghana and his supporters have now turned to crowdfunding to help fund legal fees after he lost a court ruling in the Upper Tribunal (Administrative Appeals Chamber). Home Office rules mean the government automatically seeks the expulsion of any overseas citizen awarded a sentence of four years or more.

Mr Adoboli was served with a Home Office deportation order last year and has unsuccessfully challenged it at the upper immigration tribunal. His advisers anticipate that there may be further multiple appeal stages ahead and that at least £75,000 is needed to fund his appeal against deportation.

His supporters have launched an appeal on Fundrazr.com, a crowdfunding platform, and the website has raised £9,805 — about 13 per cent of the target — despite the appeal having only gone live on Monday.

Mr Adoboli said he wanted “desperately” to stay in the UK, not just for his friends and family but also to carry on his voluntary work talking to traders about his experience and the perils of the banking culture. He has spoken at various regulatory conferences about what happened to him which he could not do if he was sent to Ghana.

“I really, really want to focus on my work … it’s part of the rehabilitation process and turning something really awful into something positive and good,” he said.

“The last five years have been such a struggle and I want to turn that into something positive,” he said. “It feels wasteful — no one benefits from me being deported. I can be honest because I’m a person who has been through this and paid the price and I have nothing to lose by saying what I did.”

Now aged 36, Mr Adoboli has lived in the UK since the age of 12 but never applied for British citizenship. He attended a Quaker boarding school in Yorkshire where he was head boy after which he attended Nottingham University, studying computer science. He later worked in the City.

Mr Adoboli’s arrest in 2011 shocked the City and prosecutors said the loss was so large that it could have destabilised UBS. He was portrayed by prosecutors during his 2012 trial as a reckless gambler and master fraudster. They claimed he regularly exceeded his risk limits and booked fictitious hedging trades exposing the bank to larger losses. In his defence, Mr Adoboli argued that he only wanted to make money for the bank, while others in the lender’s management turned a blind eye to his tactics.

In using Fundrazr his supporters have chosen the same platform as Tom Hayes, the convicted Libor banker, who is also seeking crowdfunding to launch an appeal against his conviction based on new evidence. Hayes has so far raised £26,700 — about 18 per cent of the £150,000 he is seeking for legal funds. Hayes was the first person convicted by a jury in the Libor rigging scandal — receiving a 14-year jail term which was reduced to 11 years on appeal.


Credit: FT

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