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Spread-Betting Company Defrauded by Senior Employee

A spread-betting company has triumphed in a High Court damages claim against a former senior employee who engaged in a series of fraudulent transactions over a three-year period. The company puts its losses resulting from the frauds perpetrated by the senior shares dealer at more than £1.2 million.

The dealer had, in concert with a number of the company’s clients, enabled the placing of spread bets at artificially low prices, resulting in artificially high profits or low losses. The trusted dealer used his privileged position to systematically manipulate trading prices offered by the company on certain US stocks.

The court’s decision means that the dealer is liable for the entire loss suffered by the company as a result of his fraudulent breaches of fiduciary duty. The company had previously settled with, or obtained judgment against, a number of former clients alleged to have participated in the fraud. The court made findings of liability against certain other defendants and expressed the hope that the quantum of damages payable could be agreed without the need for a further hearing.