01:29 GMT +326 September 2017
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    HSBC tax dodging

    Currency Scheme Prompts Criminal Charges Against HSBC Trading Chief

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    The head of global foreign exchange trading at HSBC, one of the world’s ten biggest banks, has been charged with defrauding a client who hired the bank to change $3.5 billion into British pounds, the US Department of Justice announced in a press release on Wednesday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Currency chief Mark Johnson, 50, and another employee of the United Kingdom-based bank were also charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, the release noted.

    "The defendants allegedly betrayed their client’s confidence, and corruptly manipulated the foreign exchange market to benefit themselves and their bank," Assistant US Attorney General Leslie Caldwell said in the release.

    The defendants initiated a series of currency trades on behalf of HSBC that were timed to coincide with a client’s $3.5 billion exchange, an amount big enough to affect global exchange rates. As a result, HSBC made $8 million in profits, according to the release.

    Johnson was arrested on Tuesday night at New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.

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