June
2017

John Rusnak

John Rusnak was a former currency trader at Allfirst bank, then part of AIB Group, in Baltimore, MD, United States. On January 17, 2003 he was sentenced to 7 1/2 years in prison for hiding US$691 million in losses at the bank after bad bets snowballed in one of the largest recorded cases of bank fraud. He was transferred from prison to a halfway house in June, 2008; to home confinement in September, 2008; and ultimately released from home confinement on January 5, 2009, having served just under 6 years.
John Rusnak
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Rusnak could have faced up to 30 years in prison. The original 7 1/2 year sentence was part of a plea bargain with US prosecutors. He was released early, having earned good-behavior credits and completing a drug treatment program. Upon his release, he started paying US$1,000 a month for the five years of his probation.

Rusnak will remain on the hook for the full $691 million he lost, but prosecutors said the amount he pays back will depend on how much money he is able to make after leaving prison.

Following the scandal AIB sold Allfirst to M&T Bank of Buffalo, New York in July, 2003. AIB retained 23% of M&T stock. Over 1,100 Allfirst employees lost their jobs in the sale.

The book Panic At The Bank, written by Siobhán Creaton and Conor O'Clery, both journalists who followed the story for the Irish newspaper The Irish Times, details the events which led up to the fraud and how it was carried out and hidden from the bank's authorities. It was published by Gill and Macmillan.

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