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Wednesday
Aug052015

After first Libor trial, UK jails convicted trader 14 years

The first defendant to go on trial in the UK as part of the Serious Fraud Office's criminal investigation into the manipulation of Libor was convicted and sentenced Monday at Southwark Crown Court.

Tom Hayes, 35, a former derivatives trader at UBS and Citigroup, was found guilty by a jury of all eight counts of conspiracy to defraud.

He was sentenced to 14 years in prison.

From 2006 through 2010, Hayes conspired with others to manipulate and fix Yen Libor rates.

He worked for UBS until 2009 and for Citigroup in 2010.

SFO director David Green said in a statement: "The jury were sure that in his admitted manipulation of Libor, Hayes was indeed dishonest. The verdicts underline the point that bankers are subject to the same standards of honesty as the rest of us."

The SFO has charged 13 individuals as part of the Libor investigation that started in 2012.

Libor -- the London Interbank Offered Rate -- is the global benchmark interest rate used to set a range of financial deals.

"It underpins trillions of pounds of investments and contracts both in the UK and around the world. The accuracy of the rate is important to maintaining trust in the financial system," the SFO said.

Hayes was arrested with two others in December 2012.

At Monday' s sentencing, Justice Cooke said the "seriousness of the offense is hard to overstate."

Some of Hayes' alleged co-conspirators are scheduled to go on trial in London in late September.

The trial of other defendants charged with fixing the U.S. Dollar Libor rate is set for January 2016.

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Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.