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UK Court: No Reduction In Bail For “Flash Crash” Trader

A District Judge ruled that his original bail would be upheld, leading Navinder Singh Sarao to claim that he had “done nothing wrong” and was simply good at his job. Sarao failed to raise the £5.05 million ($7.69 million) requested by the court, but Judge Elizabeth Roscoe refused to vary his bail, writes Jane Croft for The Financial Times.

High-frequency trading flash crash Flash Crash
Flash Crash

Flash crash trader Navinder Singh Sarao: Judge upholds $7.69 million bail

U.S. authorities are currently attempting to have Navinder Singh Sarao extradited in order to face trial in Chicago related to wire fraud, among other charges. Sarao had appealed to reduce his bail to just £50,000 ($76,162).

Sarao’s lawyer told the court that his client could not raise the necessary money due to a worldwide freezing order that was imposed by U.S. authorities. The judge told Sarao that she did not believe that £50,000 ($76,162) would be “sufficient to secure your attendance in court.”

The bail amount was apparently set by District Judge Quentin Purdy, who was told at a hearing last month that Sarao had an account containing £5 million. However Sarao’s lawyers claimed that the freezing order had been imposed 5 days before his arrest, meaning that he is “prohibited from withdrawing money.”

On the other hand, prosecutor Carl Kevin raised concerns that there were “hidden assets,” potentially held in the Cayman Islands in false names. Kelvin said that a bail payment of £50,000 (($76,162) would be “quite frankly inadequate in this case.”

Flash Crash – DOJ pressing for trial in U.S.

Navinder Singh Sarao’s lawyers threatened to take the case to the High Court. A full extradition hearing is scheduled for September 24 and 25, and he will have to appear in court every Wednesday until the bail is raised.

His bail conditions mean that he would be under electronic curfew between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m., and both his passport and those of his parents would be held by police. Sarao would also have to visit a London police station three times a week, and is prohibited from accessing the internet for any purpose.

Sarao traded from his family home in London, and has been charged by the DOJ with wire fraud, commodities fraud and market manipulation. The 22 total charges carry a combined sentence of 380 years. The DOJ claims that Navinder Singh Sarao made £26 million illegally over a period of 5 years, but the accused denies all charges and has said that he will fight extradition.