Market crash accused ‘good at job’

Published: Wednesday 6th May 2015 by The News Editor

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A British financial trader accused of helping trigger a multibillion-dollar US stock market crash from his London home has claimed he was just good at his job.

Navinder Singh Sarao, 36, who is fighting extradition to the US, appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court where he failed in a bid to have the payment of a £5 million security removed from his bail conditions.

As he was being led away from the dock he turned to the public gallery, held his arms out wide and declared: “I haven’t done anything wrong apart from being good at my job.

“How is this allowed to go on, man?”

Sarao, of Clairvale Road, Hounslow, west London, is fighting extradition to the US, where he faces 22 charges including wire fraud, commodities fraud and market manipulation, which carry sentences totalling a maximum of 380 years.

The US Justice Department claims Sarao and his company, Nav Sarao Futures Limited, made £26 million illegally over five years.

The former bank worker and Brunel University student has had his assets frozen and has remained in custody since his arrest because the money has not been paid.

A security of £50,000 must also be provided from his parents, as well as other conditions.

District Judge Quentin Purdy set the terms of bail on April 22 after Sarao’s legal team told the court he has £5 million in his trading account, of which £4.7 million is a loan.

James Lewis QC, defending, told today’s hearing that at that time the lawyers did not know Sarao could not access the money.

He said: “We only found out the very next day a worldwide freezing order had been imposed.

“This was in fact obtained immediately before his arrest, as one might expect, by the American authorities but it was not notified to us.”

He added: “It is now impossible to supply the security that was ordered by Mr Purdy as a condition of his bail.”

But District Judge Elizabeth Roscoe, who presided over the case today, ruled that the bail conditions should not be altered.

She told Sarao: “Bearing in mind the nature of the allegations made – not just the amount but the manner of them as well – I am not of the opinion that £50,000 together with the other conditions would be sufficient to secure your attendance at court.”

After the ruling, Mr Lewis stood up and told Ms Roscoe: “We’ll just go to the High Court.”

Carl Kelvin, representing the US authorities, told the hearing: “It’s a very serious allegation. You have seen from the (court) papers the allegation is approximately 40 million dollars obtained over approximately a four-year period by manipulating the market.”

He added: “A security of £50,000, quite frankly, would be inadequate in this case.”

Mr Kelvin also said Sarao has financial accounts based in the Cayman Islands in the Caribbean.

Published: Wednesday 6th May 2015 by The News Editor

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