The traders in NY and London jumped ahead, driving up the price of the pound to its highest in two days on December 7, 2011, minutes before the 3 p.m. deal, according to the US.
Johnson was the first banker to be tried in a USA court as a result of global investigations into the $5.3 trillion per day foreign-exchange currency market.
A former top currency trader at HSBC faces up to 20 years in federal prison after being found guilty of conspiracy and wire fraud Monday.
"The jury found that former HSBC banker Mark Johnson exploited confidential information provided by a client of the bank to execute trades that were meant to generate millions of dollars in profits for him and the bank at the expense of their client", said Acting U.S. Attorney Rohde.
Such as, Mark Johnson, who was former head of HSBC's global foreign exchange cash trading.
According to United States prosecutors, Mark Johnson formerly head of HSBC's global foreign exchange cash trading desk, schemed to increase the price of British pounds before executing a trade for Cairn, and in the process made millions for HSBC at the expense of Cairn.
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The verdict was read in federal court in Brooklyn, where Johnson was on trial for almost four weeks.
Since the financial crisis eight years ago, the world's largest banks have paid billions in fines to settle charges of various misdeeds.
HSBC generated profits of $8 million from the transaction: $3 million from front-running and a $5 million fee from the client.
The only charge on which he wasn't convicted was linked to a 50-second recording in which Johnson excitedly said, "Ohhhhh, f-ing Christmas, " after he learned the Cairn Energy order would go ahead as planned.
In one call, Scott and Johnson told Cairn and its financial advisor after the trade that a "Russian buyer" had been responsible for a spike in the price of pounds. Prosecutors said the other traders were tipped by Johnson. Rob Sherman, a spokesman for HSBC, declined to comment.