Ex-AIB trader could face charges soon


Suspended currency trader Mr John Rusnak could face criminal charges as early as today for his alleged role in a trading scam that landed Allied Irish Banks in the one of the biggest scandals in recent banking history.

Federal authorities in Baltimore are expected to bring charges against Mr Rusnak after four months of investigation into $691.2 million in losses which Mr Rusnak allegedly racked up by executing unauthorized trades while employed by AIB's US subsidiary, Allfirst Financial.

Mr Rusnak's attorneys, who have said in the past that their client stole nothing from Allfirst, did not return phone calls today.

It is not clear what charges could emerge from the federal bank fraud and embezzlement inquiry undertaken by the FBI and the US attorney's office for Maryland. Neither federal agency would comment on the case yesterday.

Soon after AIB executives revealed the Baltimore-based subsidiary's massive trading losses on February 6th, sources close to the investigation said Mr Rusnak had begun providing information to criminal investigators in hopes of securing a plea bargain.

In cases that involve plea bargains, charges agreed upon by prosecutors and defense attorneys are filed in a document called a criminal information to which the defendant can plead guilty.

However, charges can also take the form of a grand jury indictment, which is a formal accusation.

Sources have suggested that bankers besides Mr Rusnak could be charged in the investigation, noting that the former trader courted brokers and financial executives in the foreign exchange market with meals, hotel stays, golf trips and tickets to the NFL Super Bowl.