Trader Charged Alongside Goldman Banker Faces Extradition
(Bloomberg) -- A securities trader accused of insider-dealing is set to face criminal charges in the U.S. after losing an extradition ruling in London.
Joseph El Khouri, who holds dual Lebanese-British citizenship, is accused of making almost $2 million trading on inside information. U.S. prosecutors allege that the trader and avid poker player gave lavish gifts to middlemen, including expensive hotel stays in New York, and a yacht charter in Greece, in exchange for tips as part of an international insider-trading conspiracy.
Judge Vanessa Baraitser said that British investigators at the Financial Conduct Authority agreed that the U.S. was a more appropriate place to try El Khouri. The FCA dropped its own investigation because it lacked “a narrator” who could explain the alleged overarching scheme.
El Khouri’s lawyer said he planned to appeal the decision.
El Khouri was charged in 2019, along with five other people, including former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. investment banker Bryan Cohen. Two of the suspects have been convicted or pleaded guilty, while others have evaded arrest.
The trader had argued that the overwhelming majority of the alleged wrongdoing took place in the U.K. and that the allegations should be tried here.
But the judge said key witnesses couldn’t be required to attend a U.K. trial.
“If Mr. El Khouri is not extradited to the U.S., he will not face prosecution for his conduct,” she said.
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.