The defence team conducting former HSBC FX trading head Mark Johnson’s appeal against his conviction in late 2017 have filed their appeal brief to the US Court of Appeal, in which they argue that the US Government’s brief offers, “…the latest flavour of the prosecution’s many ever-shifting, imprecise, and contradictory attempts to explain just what, exactly, the crime here was, and it exposes why there was none.” It highlights a series of new arguments put forward by the Government that were not heard by the jury, as well as a series of back tracks by the prosecution side.
ACI – The Financial Markets Association (ACI FMA) has filed an Amicus Brief on behalf of former HSBC FX trading head Mark Johnson, who is appealing his conviction and sentencing earlier this year for several wire fraud offences.
In the Amicus ACI says that if the US government’s “Illogical” position is allowed to stand, and the conviction is not overturned, bank dealers are unlikely to operate in the face of potential criminal sanctions simply for transparently and fairly hedging the uncompensated risk of “colossal loss” to their shareholders.
In this column on June 7 2018 I wrote that the time had come for someone to show industry leadership when it comes to arguing the foreign exchange industry’s corner specifically around pre-hedging and Mark Johnson’s pending appeal. I looked particularly at the industry associations and, some believe, called them out on it. It is pleasing to see that there is a response from the industry, but it is not yet enough and more can be done – especially by one or two associations.
Mark Johnson has won his bail application in the US Appeals Court and will been released subject to terms laid down by the District Court.
Three judges of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, granted the bail application Wednesday, which suggests that as well as seeing Johnson as no flight risk, they also believe there are credible legal issues surrounding the original conviction.
Johnson was found guilty of several counts of wire fraud and sentenced to two years in jail in an original decision that potentially has tremendous consequences for the FX industry.
I have been reading through the application for bail lodged by Mark Johnson’s lawyers following his conviction and sentence to two years’ jail and not only do I think it previews his full appeal, but while I understand the job of the counsel is to make the best case they can by stretching facts to the limit, my natural reaction has also been that something went badly wrong during the trial for the verdict to be delivered the way it was.