His defense is that everyone did it
Mark Johnson was the former global head of foreign exchange cash trading at HSBC and has pleaded not guilty to front-running a $3.5 billion trade from a client.
The case started today and he told jurors that his client had acted in a manner that was consistent with «standard practice in the banking industry».
That doesn’t look very good.
Here are the details:
- Cairn Energy sold some Indian assets and need to convert the proceeds to GBP
- They called up HSBC to make the trade
- Johnson made $8 million for HSBC by placing trades for the bank, and then executing the transaction
- Johnson was arrested on a trip to New York
Johnson himself said the order was like «f***ing Christmas» in internal communications.
He’s facing 10 wire fraud and conspiracy charges.