Navin Kumar Aggarwal, 47, admitted stealing from client accounts to fund his spiralling gambling habit. Aggarwal, who resigned from K&L Gates in June 2011, was accused of stealing a whopping HK$7.8 billion (£650 million) from his former firm. Ouch. Aggarwal pleaded guilty to two charges of fraud and one of money laundering and his case concluded in the High Court of Hong Kong this week.
|K&L Gates' money that Aggarwal didn't steal|
The court heard that between 2007 and 2011, Aggarwal approached 92 potential investors and falsely represented that he had business opportunities for them - but they first had to deposit money with the firm to show they had sufficient funds. A total of HK$8.1 billion was deposited with the firm as a result. Aggarwal then forged signatures in order to direct accounts staff to transfer money into a dormant client account from where he transferred the cash to casinos, to some of his relatives and to companies for which he served as a director.
The South China Morning Post reports that Aggarwal sent a grovelling letter of apology to the firm. Addressed to K&L's Asia Managing Partner, David Tang, he wrote*:
*Aggarwal may not have used pictured notepaper.