He wants to start a second career

He wants to start a second career

Dhe former speculator and fraudster Nick Leeson, who once caused the British Barings Bank to collapse, is planning a second career as a financial detective. Leeson, 56, is hired by the London firm Red Mist Market Enforcement Unit to investigate cases of financial irregularities and fraud. The company promises investors help with claims for damages. Leeson made the statement, according to the news agency Bloomberg on his new job in an interview: “I stood on the other side and understand the psychology of the people involved.” On his website, the former speculator, who spent four years in prison, describes himself as “the original rogue trader” .

Leeson was probably one of the best-known speculators of the early 1990s, who was initially considered a star, but with illegal derivatives speculation in Singapore brought Barings Bank losses totaling more than 830 million pounds, which led to the collapse of the oldest British investment bank in 1995. In 1995, Leeson was arrested at Frankfurt Airport and Singapore sentenced to six and a half years in prison for breach of trust, fraud and forgery, but released early in 1999 because of cancer. He then wrote an autobiography (“The Billion Game”), which became a bestseller and was also made into a film. He later moved to Ireland and worked as manager of football club Galway United from 2007 to 2011 and appeared on the English reality TV show ‘Big Brother’ in 2018. He also studied psychology and gives speeches on financial issues.

The Red Mist company, which aims to uncover financial scams, was set up by Seth Freedman, a former London stockbroker and soldier in the Israel Defense Forces, who also served as an undercover investigator for the ousted Hollywood producer in his career Harvey Weinstein has worked. In 2012 he uncovered alleged price manipulation on the gas market. Until 2018, Freedman worked for Black Cube, a private detective agency run by Israeli ex-intelligence officials. In 2021 he founded Red Mist.

About his new employee, Freedman says with a slightly ironic understatement: “Leeson has obviously run into problems with regulators, he knows the city like the back of his hand.” He is a “brilliant” investigator. “When it’s public company fraud and you need to uncover it, you need market experts,” Freedman said. The Red Mist agency has previously convicted financial scammers like the one before UBS– and Citigroup trader Tom Hayes, who was jailed for manipulating interbank interest rates. Red Mist’s clients include Nobu Su, a Taiwanese shipping mogul who was jailed after his bankruptcy on contempt of British courts and allegations that British banks illegally robbed him of large sums of money during the 2008 financial crisis. Leeson believes that the interest rate turnaround will still put some banks and financial firms under pressure and that there will then be a need for his services as an investigator with cheated investors.

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