Jonathan Mathew, Jay Merchant and Alex Pabon, three former traders of Barclays Bank plc, were found guilty on Monday, of conspiracy to defraud in connection with an investigation into manipulation of US dollar LIBOR. This offence took place between June 2005 and September 2007.
David Green CB QC, director of the SFO has stated that the key issue in these proceedings was dishonesty as the convicted defendants, alongside Peter Johnson who pleaded guilty to the offence in 2014, submitted rates specifically intended to advantage Barclays and themselves financially, and thereby defraud those with whom they were trading.
All four men have since been sentenced, with Jay Merchant receiving six and a half years; Peter Johnson and Jonathan Matthew receiving four; and Alex Pabon receiving a sentence of two years and nine months.
The SFO began their investigation into LIBOR manipulation in 2012, and successfully prosecuted former trader Tom Hayes guilty of conspiracy to defraud by a jury in 2013. Mr. Hayes was sentenced to 14 years in prison, which has since been reduced to 11 years on appeal in December 2015. Despite the outcome of this case, the SFO has faced a number of set backs including the acquittal of Mr. Hayes’s six co-conspirators of the same offence earlier this year. It should also been noted that Mr. Hayes himself has indicated that he is seeking to overturn his conviction due to this result.
This guilty verdict of the three former Barclays traders is however an important result for the SFO and is just the beginning of cases brought by the Office in relation to LIBOR manipulation. Of particular note is its willingness to bring to trial US nationals in the UK and perhaps demonstrates a new level of co-operation between the two countries in relation to international fraud.