Guardian 19 Mar 2013: Icelandic bank Kaupthing's top executives indicted over market rigging

Category: Newspaper & Media Reports

Icelandic banker Sigurdur "Siggi" Einarsson, who ran Kaupthing bank from offices in Mayfair until its collapse five years ago, is among nine former senior staff who have been variously charged in Reykjavik with orchestrating five large-scale market manipulation conspiracies.

Further details, to be released by the courts later this week, are expected to allege a conspiracy by Kaupthing executive chairman Einarsson and other bosses at Iceland's largest bank, claiming they secretly used the bank's funds to indirectly buy Kaupthing shares in the hope of propping up its share price.

Holdings in Kaupthing shares were allegedly acquired in the name of selected major clients, financed by generous loans from the bank. According to an Icelandic parliamentary report, almost 42% of Kaupthing shares were held by the bank as loan collateral at the end of September 2008, much of that without the knowledge of other stakeholders in the bank.

The criminal case is the largest in a series of fraud prosecutions that have been brought to court in Iceland in recent years, and may be one of the largest alleged market manipulation conspiracies ever seen in Europe.


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