HSBC Banker Arrested at JFK in Foreign Exchange Probe

The arrest was part of a three-year investigation into foreign-exchange rigging.

ByPAUL BLAKE
July 20, 2016, 12:48 PM
PHOTO: The HSBC headquarters is seen in the Canary Wharf financial district in London, Feb. 15, 2016.
The HSBC headquarters is seen in the Canary Wharf financial district in London, Feb. 15, 2016.
Hannah McKay/Reuters

— -- The global head of HSBC's foreign exchange cash trading in London was arrested at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport on Tuesday night and has been charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Mark Johnson, 50, a senior manager at HSBC who is a citizen of the U.K. and a resident of the U.S., was arrested by agents from the FBI and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporations Office of the Inspector General (FDIC-OIG) around 7:30 p.m. Johnson will be arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge Lois Bloom of the Eastern District of New York later today.

Stuart Scott, 43, a U.K. resident who used to run the bank's foreign exchange cash trading for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, was also charged by federal authorities of conspiring to defraud a client through a scheme known as "front running," according to charging papers.

HSBC spokesman Rob Sherman said that the bank had "no comment at this time."

Paul Abbate, assistant director in charge of the FBI's Washington Field Office, said in a statement: "These individuals are accused of defrauding clients by misusing confidential information to manipulate currency prices for the benefit of the bank and themselves."

The arrest was part of a three-year investigation into foreign-exchange rigging at global banks, Bloomberg reported. Johnson was the first person to have been arrested as part of the investigation.

Scott was reportedly fired from HSBC in December 2014, according to a report in the Financial Times.

ABC News' Aaron Katersky and Rebecca Jarvis contributed to this report.

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