Friend of accused UBS "rogue trader" gave Kerviel warning

Reuters

A friend of accused UBS fraudster Kweku Adoboli told him in 2008 she hoped never to read articles about him in the press similar to those she had read about a "rogue trader" at France's Societe Generale, a London court heard on Thursday.

Adoboli, 32, who used to work as a senior trader at UBS's investment banking arm in London, was arrested on September 15, 2011 and blamed for losses of $2.3 billion. He is on trial accused of fraud and false accounting, charges he denies.

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The prosecution read out to the jury an exchange of emails between Adoboli and friend Sarah Moore dating back to January 2008, when Societe Generale announced losses of 4.9 billion euros ($7.1 billion) blamed on trader Jerome Kerviel.

Moore started the exchange by forwarding to Adoboli and others a humorous newspaper article that began: "Friends of rogue trader Jerome Kerviel last night blamed his $7 billion losses on unbearable levels of stress brought on by a punishing 30-hour working week".

Adoboli responded that, "It brings so much joy, this story", commenting in the same email, "to think that he (Kerviel) does exactly what Hughesy and I do".

"Hughesy" was a reference to John Hughes, Adoboli's fellow trader at UBS's Exchange Traded Funds desk.

In her response to Adoboli, Moore commented that the more she read about the Kerviel case, the more she was struck by the similarities between the French trader's professional activities and those of Adoboli.

"Please don't let me read about you in the papers in the same fashion. It would destroy my faith in human nature forever," Moore told Adoboli.

The prosecution concluded their case, which had been running since September 14, shortly after reading out Moore's email. After some legal proceedings, Adoboli was expected to take the stand in his defense later on Thursday.

(Reporting by Estelle Shirbon Editing by Maria Golovnina)