Colleagues say the British trader arrested in connection with the 'Flash Crash' played markets like a 'video game'

Sarao house flash crashREUTERS/Neil HallThe sun sets on the address where Nav Sarao Futures Limited is registered, in Hounslow, London April 21, 2015.

Navinder Singh Sarao, the British trader who was arrested Tuesday in connection with the 2010 “Flash Crash” that saw US markets plunge 9% for a 20-minute period, treated markets “like a video game,” according to former colleagues who spoke to the Times.

The Times says Sarao previously worked at a proprietary trading outfit called Futex.

Here’s a snippet from the article, which paints Sarao as somewhat of a cheapskate despite the insane profits he was allegedly raking in:

Mr Sarao rarely arrived in the office, in Woking, before 10am so that he could avoid having to pay peak train fares. He would sit at his desk with a hoodie pulled up, rarely eating before late in the afternoon so that he could avoid paying for a full-price sandwich.

The contrast between the parsimonious man in front of the screen and the profits or losses of up to £500,000 on the screen became a source of mirth among fellow traders in the office. Adam Whiting, a Futex trader who sat next to Mr Sarao for six months, wrote yesterday on Twitter: “One thing I will say is Nav used to wear a tracksuit every day, even when an early millionaire!”

There’s also a comment from a neighbour which matches the Financial Times’ report that Sarao drove a battered green car.

It certainly doesn’t sound like Sarao was living the usual lifestyle of someone making the sort of cash US authorities are claiming he did.

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