The scandal around the 750 million dollars that disappeared from Allied Irish Banks is continuing. The Banks’ leadership hastened to declare 37-year-old John Rusnak, trader for foreign currency operations, the main suspect. However, it was discovered that Rusnak was too quickly declared the swindler. First, he did not hide himself while being searched for. He was in Baltimore with his family. Second, he himself came to the meeting with FBI representatives, which, apropos, did not bring any accusations against him. Very strange for swindler! However, it may be just a sophisticated way to remain above suspicion, who knows?
One more curious thing: Rusnak helped the inter-bank investigation connected with the damage. However, when he didn't come to the office on Monday, the bank's leadership sounded the alarm, starting a search for Rusnak.
In the meantime, the bankers themselves state that the story will not influence the banks’ business solvency. “This is a serious blow, though not fatal,” – AIB executive director Michel Backly stated. According to him, even if the 750 million are written off, the year 2001, after all taxes are paid, will post a profit.
A similar story took place in 1995, at the Barings Bank, where a certain Nick Lison made illegal transactions in the sum of 1.2 billion dollars; however, in that case, the clerk’s activities caused the bank’s bankruptcy.
The AIB officials admit that the reason of the large sum’s disappearance might not only somebody’s intentional activities, but also could be banal negligence. For the time being, according to inquest, it is known that the trader pretended to carry out some non-authorized transactions to cover losses that he had in his real trade. He carried out real operations in the currency market, though introduced fictitious data about option contracts in the bank’s system, which are being bought to secure from potential losses. As a result, the bank suffered losses, while the loss insurance was fictitious.
There are too many ambiguities in the story. Why, for example, did the leadership address to FBI only after Rusnak did not come to the office? It probably did not want to wash its dirty linen in public. However, eventually, every secret comes to light with time. For the time being, all foreign currency operations at AIB have been stopped, while the company’s four leaders have been removed from office. Therefore, Rusnak doesn't seem to be alone. Oleg Artyukov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Vera Solovieva
AP photograph: John Rusnak
Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2002/02/08/36831.html