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Second Australian trader jailed over forex scandal

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MELBOURNE, Apr 6 (Reuters) A second former National Australia Bank trader was jailed today for his role in a foreign exchange scandal three years ago that resulted in 252 million Australian dollars in unauthorised trading losses.

Victorian County Court judge Geoff Chettle handed former foreign exchange options trader Gianni Gray a 16-month sentence for what he said had been a calculated and sophisticated fraud.

But Chettle ordered that half Gray's sentence be suspended because he had shown genuine remorse and because he will give evidence in the coming trials of two other former NAB traders.

Gray, who appeared shaken when his sentence was delivered, pleaded guilty to three charges of dishonestly using his job to gain financial advantages for himself and others. Each charge carried a maximum sentence of five years' jail.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) brought charges against four former traders after they were sacked over fictitious trades that led to NAB's foreign exchange options desk appearing to meet a 37 million Australian dollars profit target in 2003/04.

''This case further demonstrates that employees who hold positions of trust and responsibility will be held accountable for any dishonest conduct and, especially where both the employer and shareholders are deceived, jail sentences will be imposed by the court,'' ASIC chairman Jeffrey Lucy said in a statement.

Luke Edward Duffy, the former head of NAB's foreign currency options desk, was sentenced last June to a minimum of 16 months' jail for his part in the 2003/04 trades.

The trials of two other traders, Vincent Ficarra and David Bullen, will begin on April 19.

REUTERS SHB ND1350

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