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SFO seeks retrial of two former LIBOR traders

The UK Serious Fraud Office said Wednesday it is seeking a retrial of two former Barclays traders after their jury trial ended Monday without verdicts.

Three of their co-defendants were convicted.

Stylianos Contogoulas and Ryan Michael Reich had been charged with conspiracy to defraud for an alleged plot to manipulate U.S. Dollar LIBOR.

The jury failed to reach verdicts for them after an 11-week trial at Southwark Crown Court.

Reich is an American.

The SFO could have taken up to two weeks to decide but made its retrial announcement after just two days.

Convicted Monday of conspiracy to defraud were Jonathan James Mathew, Jay Vijay Merchant, and Alex Julian Pabon -- also an American citizen.

While working at Barclays, the convicted defendants conspired to rig submissions for the U.S. Dollar LIBOR, the SFO said.

LIBOR – the London Interbank Offered Rate – is a global benchmark interest rate. It is set when the big banks make daily submissions to the London-based British Bankers’ Association.

A sixth defendant, Peter Charles Johnson, pleaded guilty in October 2014 to conspiracy to defraud.

The UK has charged nineteen defendants with LIBOR-related offenses.

Six of them were acquitted in January 2016 in the second LIBOR trial.

In the first LIBOR trial, Tom Hayes -- a former derivatives trader at UBS and Citigroup -- was found guilty by a jury of eight counts of conspiracy to defraud. He's serving an 11-year prison sentence.

In the United States, the DOJ has charged 13 individuals for LIBOR-related offenses. Three of them have pleaded guilty, two were convicted at trial, and the charges against the others are pending.


Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He'll be the keynote speaker at the FCPA Blog NYC Conference 2016