Former Head of Commodity Trading and Head Trader at Citibank Both Jailed for Inflating Profits

After his former boss was sentenced, a former head of American trading on the Citibank NA commodity desk was sentenced in May to 12 months and a day in prison and ordered to pay approximately $188,000 after pleading guilty to conspiring to falsify bank records and to commit wire fraud, said a U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia said Charles Craig Gile schemed to inflate trading profits of the Citibank commodity desk by as much as $20 million during 2003 to increase his stature at the firm and make himself eligible for bonuses. Garcia added that Gile and David Becker, Head of Commodities Trading at Citicorp, understated the market risk and overstated the financial performance of Citibank’s commodity holdings that year. In March, Becker was sentenced to 15 months in prison.

Garcia said the defendants accomplished their scheme using various means, including inputting false data into computer models used to estimate the value of positions held by the commodity desk. Other false inputs were apparently made to artificially decrease the amount of risk being taken by the trading desk. The models therefore showed millions of dollars of artificially inflated profits for Citibank.

The government further charged that Gile and Becker caused false information to be reported to Citibank’s financial control department, which monitored the commodity desk. In addition to the prison sentence, Gile was ordered to pay $185,819 in restitution and a $3,000 fine.

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