“There was a serious breach of trust,” Hong Kong High Court Judge Patrick Li said today of Ma’s accepting the payments in exchange for information on derivative warrants issued by the bank. Li also ordered Ma to pay HK$24.8 million to the German lender.
Ma, 39, was convicted by a jury Dec. 6 of four bribery charges. Ha But-yee, 62, one of the investors, was convicted of offering the bribes to Ma, who also served as Deutsche Bank’s chief warrant trader. Ha’s two sons and younger sister were acquitted of involvement in the bribery, which occurred between January 2007 and May 2008.
Ma will appeal his conviction, his lawyer Adrian Bell said. Bell had argued there was no evidence that Ma provided any confidential or improper information, and he was doing his job in supplying information and trading with the defendants.
Ha and his family made a profit of HK$228 million on their “rapid fire trading” of the warrants, a profitability that wasn’t seen in their other trades, Li said in handing down his sentence.
Ha, who was sentenced to seven years in jail, will also appeal his conviction, his lawyer Joseph Tse said.
Deutsche Bank Hong Kong spokesman Michael West said the case is a personal matter for Ma, who hasn’t been employed by the bank since January 2012.
“There has been absolutely no suggestion of wrongdoing by Deutsche Bank,” West said.
The German bank assisted the Independent Commission Against Corruption in its probe, the anti-graft agency said Dec. 6.
The case is Hong Kong SAR v Ma Sin-chi, HCCC323/2012, Hong Kong Court of First Instance.
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