Prosecutors in the United Kingdom have charged 10 former Barclays Plc (BARC) and Deutsche Bank AG (DEB) employees with rigging the Euribor benchmark. The ex-Deutsche Bank traders are Christian Bittar, Achim Kraemer, Joerg Vogt, Andreas Hauschild, Kai-Uwe Kappauf, and Ardalan Gharagozlou. The former Barclays traders are Philippe Moryoussef, Colin Bermingham, Sisse Bohart, and Carlo Palombo. An unidentified 11th trader is also expected to be charged.
Except for Bermingham, the rest of the defendants live outside Great Britain. These are the first charges in the Serious Fraud Office’s probe of Libor rigging involving the Euro interbank offered rate. More individuals are expected to be prosecuted.
Earlier this week, Bittar, who was once among Deutsche Bank’s most successful traders before he was let go in 2011, won a separate ruling. Although his name wasn’t mentioned in the Financial Conduct’s ruling in an interest rate benchmark’s manipulation probe into his former employer, Bittar contended that he was clearly identifiable in the details of the settlement. Bittar argued that because of this he was entitled to look at FCAs settlement with Deutsche Bank prior to its disclosure.
Global regulators had fined Deutsche Bank $2.5 billion earlier this year and the FCA published a document detailing the wrongdoing that included the term
“manager B” when referring to one of its managers. Bittar said that term clearly referred to him. A London judge said that Bittar was indeed improperly identified.
Last year, the FCA put out a penalty notice against Bittar directly proposing to fine him 10 million pounds because he had been purportedly “knowingly concerned” with Deutsche Bank’s submissions related to Libor. The regulator sought to bar him from the industry. That notice, however, is on hold at the moment.
Meantime, six interdealer brokers from RP Martin, ICAP (IAP), and Tullet Prebon remain on trial in London for allegedly helping ex-UBS (UBS) and Citigroup (C) trader Tom Hayes rig Libor. Hayes was convicted and sentenced to 14 years behind bars for conspiring to rig the benchmark.
In the United States, ex-Rabobank (RABO) traders Anthony Allen and Anthony Conti were found guilty in the first Libor trial to take place in this country. A New York Jury said that the two men, who are British citizens, rigged US dollar and yen Libor.
Prosecutors said the two men were involved for five years in the Libor rate rigging conspiracy. Testimony from other ex-Rabobank traders who had entered guilty pleas helped convict the two men.
Conti and Allen plan to appeal the verdicts. Their lawyers claim that unlike other traders at Rabobank who did actually try to manipulate Libor, the two men turned in rate estimates that were honest. The attorneys said that the cooperating witnesses lied to get lighter sentences and that documents used to prosecute the men were taken out of context.
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Ten Ex-Deutsche Bank, Barclays Traders Charged in Euribor Probe, Bloomberg, November 13, 2015