A former Sydney trader at Deutsche Bank wanted "to stay in the game and win at all costs" when he created false entries in the bank's internal records to inflate his profit and mask his trading losses.
Andrew David Donaldson was sentenced in the NSW District Court on Monday after pleading guilty to using his position dishonestly to gain an advantage between about July 25, 2013 and June 25, 2014.
The 51-year-old last year told a psychiatrist it was "difficult to answer" why he committed the offence but he thought it was "the love of winning more than anything", the court heard.
"It's a bit like the cricketers (accused of ball tampering) ... you want to stay in the game and win at all costs," he said.
Donaldson was on Monday convicted and sentenced to 18 months' imprisonment for his crime.
But Judge Garry Neilson found there was reason to suspend his sentence and ordered he immediately be released under a recognisance order requiring a $10,000 security and two years of good behaviour.
The court heard Donaldson, a foreign exchange spot trader at Deutsche, created a number of false internal entries, which in 2013 increased his profit by almost 10 million euros.
His profit and loss account showed a profit of 21.3 million euros when the true profit was just over 11.5 euros.
That year, his cash income was more than $580,000 and he received restricted bonuses - which could be forfeited in the event of misconduct - amounting to more than $1 million, Judge Neilson said.
His false entries also masked losses but Donaldson said - and the judge accepted - that his expected profits would have been realised by the last quarter of 2014.
However, the bank by that point had discovered his misconduct and sacked him.
According to the statement of facts, Donaldson's actions would enable him to potentially meet his revenue budget, be eligible for larger bonuses and use his false figures to promote himself to other prospective employers.
But Judge Neilson said when he looked at the advantage Donaldson gained, he looked at an "illusory concept".
"There is no evidence which in any way might quantify the advantage which the offender obtained," he said,
"Rather, the evidence is all of significant disadvantage that the offender suffered."
Judge Neilson said Donaldson's misconduct had been "the cause of ruin to him, his finances and his family".
He noted the false entries were reversible and Donaldson's crime hadn't caused a loss to the bank or its customers.
Australian Associated Press