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Broker faces jail over £3 million share gamble

Jonathan Bunn, a former broker with Lewis Charles Securities, is this week facing a potential jail sentence after he admitted falsifying documents to conceal massive unauthorized trades in HSBC shares. The broker admits it to shorting HSBC shares between 22 July and 30 July 2009 and falsifying dealing slips to give the impression his trades were matched against those of clients.

In effect Mr Bunn was using company funds to short HSBC shares, with the company left to pick up the shortfall, even though he was not authorized to do this. Court records indicate that even when confronted with irrefutable evidence of his fraudulent activity he still continued to plead his innocence. However, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) was alerted to the situation after the company was forced to take a loss approaching £3 million on the transactions. The case was then passed on to the police authorities and resulted in the broker being taken to court under the Theft Act.

Over the last few weeks we have seen a significant increase in the number of market abuse and insider trading convictions in the UK which is a reflection of the new tougher approach taken by the FSA.

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