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UK trader in court over U.S. 'flash crash'

Wednesday, April 22, 2015 - 02:00

A London court has granted conditional bail to Navinder Singh Sarao, a trader accused by U.S. authorities of illegally stoking the May 2010 Wall Street ''flash crash'', and set the required surety at 5.05 million pounds ($8 million). Ivor Bennett reports

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All it took was a matter of minutes. Nearly 1 trillion dollars wiped off the Dow Jones Industrial Average in Wall Street's infamous flash crash. Almost 5 years on, US regulators believe a British high-frequency trader was largely to blame. Arriving at court in london, Navinder Singh Sarao is accused of manipulating the market. He opposed his extradition to the US, where he's also charged with wire and commodities fraud. It's alleged he used an automated program to generate large sell orders. He then cancelled the trades after the price had fallen, giving him a chance to buy new contracts before a rebound. On the day of the flash crash itself, regulators estimate Sarao made nearly 900,000 dollars. It's the first time authorities have blamed manipulation for the turbulence. But proving it won't be easy, says Credit Agricole's Adam Myers. SOUNDBITE (English) ADAM MYERS, FOREX STRATEGIST, CREDIT AGRICOLE, SAYING: "We're talking about an equation that is written into computer code and acting with a bunch of very expensive infrastructure autonomously from the intervention of a human. So it is very difficult to prosecute and very very difficult to control." Sarao was arrested at his parents' home in Hounslow, west London where the suburban surroundings belie the scale of the accusations against him. US authorities say he made over 40 million dollars in total. alleging the manipulations continued for five years, right up until earlier this month. Much of it, they say, was done through Nav Sarao Futures Limited - a company registered to this modest property. for those living near by, it's not easy to understand. SOUNDBITE (English) ANIL PURI, NEIGHBOUR, SAYING: "I'm very surprised. I mean, you wouldn't expect that around here you know. It's a fairly normal street, everyone's mind-your-own-business, so I'm very shocked." A full extradition hearing has been set for August. If convicted, US authorities say Sarao would face a long sentence.

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UK trader in court over U.S. 'flash crash'

Wednesday, April 22, 2015 - 02:00