Four Former Barclays Traders Get Prison Terms for Libor Rigging

Four ex-Barclays (BCS) bankers who were convicted for conspiring to manipulate global benchmark interest rates have been sentenced to time behind bars for their crimes. The defendants and their prison terms are: Jay Merchant, for six-and-a-half years; Jonathan Mathew for four years; Peter Johnson for four years, and Alex Pabon for two years and nine months.

While Merchant, Mathew, and Pabon were convicted of their crimes, Johnson, a former senior dollar Libor submitter and the ex-head of dollar cash trading, pleaded guilty in the case against him in 2014. They all were charged with conspiracy to defraud involving Libor rigging to benefit their banks and one another as they defrauded others.

The judge who presided over the former Barclays traders’ case accused them of abusing their position, committing the offenses more than once over a significant period of time, and compromising the banking industry. All of the men will serve half their prison terms before being released on license.

The manipulation of Libor, the London interbank offered rate, and other benchmark interest rates led to a global probe that has resulted in hefty fines for the firms whose brokers colluded together to rig rates. In 2012, Barclays admitted that it let its derivatives traders rig Libor rates. The bank paid $450M to authorities in the US and Europe to settle charges. Collectively, the banks accused in the Libor manipulation scandal have paid billions of dollars in penalties. There have been at least 13 convictions.

Meantime, the UK’s Serious Fraud Office wants to retry Stylianos Contogoulas and Ryan Michael Reich. The two former Barclays bankers were part of this latest trial but the jury was unable to arrive at verdicts for them.

In other Libor rigging news, an ex-Rabobank (RAB) trader has just entered his plea to the charge that he conspired to rig benchmark interest rates. Paul Thompson, the ex-head of money market and derivatives trading in Northeast Asia for his former employer, pleaded guilty to one criminal conspiracy count and admitted to trying to manipulate Libor. His plea deal in the U.S. came just as the Department of Justice dropped criminal charges against Colin Goodman, Daniel Wilkinson, and Darrell Read. The three former ICAP (IAP) brokers were acquitted by a jury in Britain earlier this year. They were accused of colluding with Tom Hayes, the former Citigroup (C) and UBS (UBS) broker who was convicted over his role as ringleader in the Libor rigging scandal.

The SSEK Partners Group is an institutional investor fraud law firm.

Ex-Rabobank Trader to Plead Guilty in U.S. Libor Probe, Bloomberg, July 6, 2016

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