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NAB options trader pleads guilty

Luke Duffy, former head of the National Australia Bank foreign currency options desk has pleaded guilty to three counts of dishonestly using his position as an employee in order to gain advantages for himself and others. The hearing followed an ASIC investigation into the alleged unauthorised trading in foreign exchange and foreign exchange options at the NAB by Mr Duffy, Gianni Gray, Vincent Ficarra and David Bullen. The former NAB foreign exchange traders were first charged by ASIC in December 2004. ASIC alleged that Mr Duffy, together with co-defendants Mr Gray, Mr Ficarra and Mr Bullen entered false information into the NAB’s accounting systems in order to falsely inflate the profit results of the FX options desk between September 2003 and January 2004. ASIC alleged that Mr Duffy, 35 years of Albert Park in Victoria, took part in the entering of this false information for a number of reasons including obtaining a performance bonus for the 2003/2004 financial year. Mr Duffy was granted bail and has been committed for sentencing in the County Court in Melbourne on June 14 2005. Mr Gray, Mr Ficarra and Mr Bullen also appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates Court. Mr Gray, 34, of London, was not required to enter pleas to the charges against him on this occasion and will next appear in the Melbourne Magistrates Court for a contested committal hearing on August 1 2005. Mr Gray was initially charged with three counts of dishonestly using his position as an employee to gain advantages for himself and others. However he now faces a total of 19 charges of dishonestly using his position as an employee, as well as one charge of obtaining a financial advantage by deception. These additional charges were brought against Mr Gray by ASIC earlier this month.

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