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Nicholas Leeson, the man accused of singlehandedly destroying one of Britain's oldest investment banking firms, has decided to drop his efforts to avoid returning to Singapore for prosecution. Leeson, 28, fled Singapore for Germany last February when news of his futures trading fiasco was revealed. According to Singaporean investigators, Leeson, who was the general manager of futures trading for Britain's Barings bank in Singapore, wiped out some $1.38 billion of the bank's funds in Asian futures markets. The loss was more than the 232-year-old investment institution could cover. Leeson was charged with eleven counts of fraud and forgery. "One of the reasons for fleeing to Germany," says TIME's John Moody, "was an obvious fear of the kind of punishment he faced in Singapore. It must have been a very difficult decision to give up the extradition fight."