Plea: Family members of Navinder Singh Sarao leave court in London
THE hopes of Britain’s accused “flash crash” trader of being released from custody as he fights a US extradition request were dented today (May 20) when the High Court refused to relax his bail conditions.
Navinder Sarao, 36, was arrested by British police on a US extradition warrant a month ago after being charged with wire fraud, commodities fraud and market manipulation by the US Justice Department.
The US authorities accuse him of playing a part in the Wall Street flash crash on May 6, 2010, in which about $1 trillion in market value was wiped out in a matter of minutes before the stock exchange recovered.
Sarao, who has said he did nothing wrong and was just good at his job, has been in custody since then after failing to raise a £5 million ($7.6 million) bail security imposed by a lower court.
His lawyer James Lewis argued on Wednesday that it would be both unlawful and impossible for his client to produce £5 million because of a worldwide freezing order on his assets imposed by US authorities.
He argued that £50,000 of life savings offered as security by his parents and brother, who were in court to hear the verdict, was sufficient.
But judge Ross Cranston accepted the argument put forward on behalf of the US authorities that Sarao posed a serious flight risk.
“There’s no substantial reassurance that this applicant is not a flight risk,” he said in his ruling.
Mark Summers, acting on behalf of the United States, said Sarao faced lengthy jail terms if found guilty and was alleged to be sitting on $40 million of “illegal profits”.