Banker jailed 13 years for cheating clients of millions
Burdened by a US$14 million (S$19 million) legal settlement, the private banker forged payment instructions and signatures to transfer some US$10 million from three of his clients.
Kale Jagdish Purushottam, 44, made 14 such illegal transfers from 2010 to 2012, and to cover for them, he made other illegal fund transfers, unauthorised loan applications and fraudulently created sub-accounts and bank documents.
Jagdish, a permanent resident from India who was a director at British investment bank Barclays, also made illegal stock and foreign exchange trades to replace the monies, causing at least US$10 million in further losses.
Facing more than 500 charges, Jagdish, who was sacked in 2013 after a tip-off exposed his crimes, did not show up for a hearing on Monday.
The court issued a warrant of arrest and he surrendered himself the next day.
Jagdish was yesterday jailed for 13 years. He pleaded guilty to 50 counts of forgery, cheating and Computer Misuse Act offences.
Another 503 charges were taken into consideration.
District Judge Ong Hian Sun said the offences were a "great breach of trust".
Before he joined Barclays in 2010, Jagdish worked at Swiss bank UBS and was a relationship manager for Red Oak Operations.
After he moved to Barclays, Red Oak alleged he made unauthorised foreign exchange trades between 2009 and 2010.
To avoid litigation, Jagdish entered into a settlement even though he believed he received a "verbal discretionary mandate" to make the trades.
His lawyer Anand Nalachandran said this case was unique as Jagdish's objective was not personal enrichment but to satisfy this legal obligation.
Barclays has since recovered US$4 million and Jagdish has also paid back $400,000.
Deputy Public Prosecutors Leong Weng Tat and Ng Jean Tingsought a 14-year jail term.They said Jagdish abused his position of "implicit trust" vis-a-vis his clients and employer and there was strong public interest in ensuring bank documents are not exploited for personal ends.