Appeal against Libor rate conviction

The first trader to be jailed for “rigging” interest rates over the Libor rate scandal has just won the right to appeal his conviction after an eight-year battle to clear his name.

Tom Hayes, a former top-performing UBS and Citigroup employee will be taking his case to the Court of Appeal following a decision by the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC).

After a six-and-a-half-year enquiry, the CCRC has concluded that the Court of Appeal should clarify whether the right legal approach was taken in Mr Hayes’ case, who was released from jail on licence in 2021 after serving half his sentence.

He was originally sentenced to 14 years in jail, which was reduced to 11 years after appeal.

Mr Hayes has described the decision as a “step closer to vindication and justice for all”, having been labelled the “ringmaster” in a plot to manipulate the London Interbank-Offered Rate (Libor), which at the time underpinned financial contacts around the globe.

The scandal resulted in banks having to pay billions in fines and settlements, but the individual traders accused and convicted have always argued that they were made scapegoats.

Mr Hayes is now hopeful that his claim will be upheld and seems to be closer to that goal having had a US criminal case in relation to the Libor manipulation dismissed last year by a New York judge.

Mr Hayes applied to the CCRC in 2017, providing the organisation with several thousand pages of information and numerous submissions.

Roger Isaacs, Forensic Partner at Milsted Langdon, said: “The world of banking is seen as being complex, but the LIBOR investigation uncovered what is often the case, namely that a process that outsiders had assumed was objective and rigorous was, in reality, somewhat primitive, subjective and susceptible to manipulation.

“This was a case that is unlikely to have required much by way of forensic accountancy evidence but rather the court will have needed to have considered whether those involved in setting LIRBOR were motivated by honest or dishonest intent.”

 

Source: FT

Posted in The Forensic Blog.