Former HSBC currency trader Mark Johnson took the witness stand on Wednesday, insisting that he cheated no one in a $3.5 billion foreign-exchange transaction.
Bloomberg News reports that Johnson is accused of fraud for buying British pounds ahead of a client’s order, forcing the client to pay a higher price. The bank made an $8 million profit as a result of the currency spike, according to prosecutors.
Wearing a dark charcoal gray suit, the bank’s former global head of foreign exchange spoke in a low, quiet voice, telling jurors he didn’t take advantage by trading ahead of the customer’s order in 2011. Under U.S. law, Johnson didn’t have to testify. But he waived his right to remain silent and spelled out for jurors why prosecutors are wrong when they claim he and a former colleague broke the law.
“For the risk HSBC took, the outcome was fair,” Johnson told jurors.
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