Top Firm's 'Fantasy' Trader Seeks $80m

The Times reports that former New York-based ICAP trader Joseph Bellantuono is suing the firm for $80m, claiming he was dismissed and made a scapegoat for basically doing what he was paid to do.

Icap is said to have 'struck and agreement' with UK market regulator The Financial Services Authority in 2007 that it wouldn't engage in prop trading in return for 'a waiver on capital adequacy tests'. The firm is also said to have told the US regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), in 2008 that prop trading wasn't a part of its business.

Bellantuono, who says his job included prop trading, was eventually dismissed in 2008, a year before Icap was fined $25m by the SEC in connection with a prop trading and fake trade investigation.

The trader says that he was unaware that Icap had changed it policy on prop trading, and his lawyer claims that he is 'nothing other than a sacrificial lamb so that Icap and senior executives could deflect what is appropriately their own misdeeds and wrongdoing'.

Icap has said that Bellantuono was dismissed for breaching 'a number of Icap's business conduct and employment policies', and described his claim as having 'no merit whatsoever...(and) is preposterous and in the realms of fantasy'.

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