Former Barclays Exec Charged with Front-Running Scheme

The former head of Barclays New York Foreign Exchange operation was charged with wire fraud in an alleged conspiracy to manipulate foreign exchange options in a “front-running” operation, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.

Robert Bogucki, 45, allegedly attempted to manipulate options in advance of 6 billion British pound  trade by Hewlett-Packard Co. in 2011 in an attempt to benefit Barclays and himself personally.

Bogucki, of East Setauket, New York, faces one count of conspiracy and six counts of wire fraud.

The indictment alleges Bogucki misused information provided by HP about its planned foreign exchange transaction related to the planned acquisition of a U.K.-based company.

The HP instructions to Barclays were to execute a foreign exchange transaction, which required a sale of the 6 billion in options in September 2011, according to the government.

The trade was large enough to move the market and needed to remain confidential.

Bogucki and another Barclay trader discussed they would “bash the sh*t out of” the market or “hammering the market lower” to depress the price and decrease the value of the HP options, according to the prosecutors.

Front-running is a practice by traders of using advance information from their brokers and clients to trade ahead of clients for a financial advantage.

Case: US v. Bogucki, No. 18-21

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