- Harouna Traore opened what he believed to be a dummy account
- It was not until he placed bets that he realised he was dealing with real money
- He managed to turn a loss of over £880,000 into a profit of £8.8million
A novice trader made £9million after his practice account turned out to be real.
Harouna Traore opened what he believed to be a dummy account – typically used to learn how to trade – with broker Valbury Capital. These allow traders to place deals without losing any cash, while mirroring what is happening on the market.
It was not until he placed bets on £880million of futures, running up a loss of more than £880,000, that he realised he was dealing with real money.
A novice trader made £9million after his practice account turned out to be real
A panicked Traore carried on buying and, after building up a £3.8billion position, he managed to turn the loss into a profit of £8.8million.
London-based Valbury is refusing to pay the Frenchman his profits.
In response, the married father of two is suing the company for the cash.
Valbury argues that it does not have to pay out because Traore thought he was using a demo account rather than a real one, and because he breached the company’s trading limits.
The 41-year-old’s lawyers claim that this is wrong because he made most of his profits after realising the account was a live one, and that Valbury had failed to impose any limits.
If Valbury loses it could cripple the business, which had revenues of £9.9million in 2016 and lost £455,405.
Robert Falkner, a partner at Valbury’s lawyer Reed Smith, said: ‘We are familiar with the spurious allegations made by the French arcade trader Mr Traore… which are strongly denied as wholly without merit and will be vigorously contested.’