Previously, a jury had found the man guilty of two counts of fraud. The jury at southwark crown court was unable to prove that the man, now 32, had falsified the books. It was one of the most serious fraud cases in the history of european banking. Adoboli is thus in a row with the french fraudster jerôme kerviel, who robbed the french bank societe generale of five billion euros, and the british gambler nick leeson, who brought barings bank to its knees with his risky business.
Adoboli had defrauded UBS of a total of 2.3 billion US dollars with risky stock exchange transactions. He himself had denied the fraud until the end. He had merely tried to work for the good of the bank, he stated. Colleagues and superiors had known about the transactions in which he had circumvented the bank’s risk management system.
The young trader had set up shadow accounts and used them to conduct stock exchange transactions that were far above the permitted trading limits. He used the bank’s money for this purpose. Therefore, he had to make compulsory countertransactions to secure himself – which he failed to do. The young trader had experience in the back office – where risk mechanisms are monitored. He used it for fraud.
The defense accused the bank of watching too long. In fact, UBS risk management only intervened when adoboli had accumulated massive losses. A spokesman for the london city police, on the other hand, said: "this is a young man who wanted everything, but was not prepared to wait."
The defendant therefore stated in court that he had not personally enriched himself. He had wanted to do business for the benefit of the bank, which the son of a diplomat from ghana called "his family". Colleagues and superiors had known about the practices.
UBS was temporarily in trouble due to the losses and slipped into the red at times. Chief executive oswald grubel and other leading bankers had to go. Nevertheless, until shortly before the end of the trial, it was questionable whether the actions were criminally relevant.
The public prosecutor’s office accused adoboli of having brought UBS to the brink of ruin with his gambling activities. UBS was "one or two bets away from ruin," prosecutor sasha wass had declared. At times, UBS had been up to twelve billion US dollars in debt as a result of adoboli’s business dealings. He believed he had the "magic touch" and wanted to further his own career.