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Futures Trader Who Lost Millions for Chilean Firm is Indicted

March 20, 1994

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) _ Juan Pablo Davila, the futures trader accused of causing $206 million in losses for the state-owned copper company, Codelco, was indicted over the weekend on fraud charges.

The indictment was issued Saturday by Jose Benquis, the special judge handling the case, said Carlos Gonzalez, court secretary at the Fifth Circuit Court in the Chilean capital. No details of the indictment or charges against Davila were provided.

Davila, 35, was fired last month by Codelco after acknowledging the losses, which he attributed to mistakes he made while carrying out trades on a personal computer.

He said he tried to recoup the losses, which widened instead. Codelco officials said Davila had far exceeded the amounts of money and copper he was authorized to trade in on the risky market for metals futures.

The losses, which were incurred in late 1993, weren’t made public until January.

The scandal led to the dismissals of three top Codelco sales executives and the resignation of the company’s president, Alejandro Noemi.

In addition to Benquis probe, separate investigations are being conducted by lawmakers and the General Comptroller’s office. Internal and outside audits were ordered by Codelco.

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