Exclusive: Former Barclays trader "has cooperated" with Libor probe

Fri Aug 10, 2012 4:02pm EDT
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By Matthew Goldstein and Jennifer Ablan

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A former Barclays Plc trader who was fired by the bank for sending inappropriate emails about Libor "has cooperated" with the federal criminal probe into the alleged rigging of international benchmark interest rates, according to the New York hedge fund that currently employs the trader.

The hedge fund, WCG Management, sent an email to its investors on Sunday informing them that the $3.4 billion fund is not under investigation in the Libor probe, but confirmed that portfolio manager Ryan Reich has drawn scrutiny from U.S. prosecutors.

WCG said in the email, a copy of which was read to Reuters by a person who received it, that the fund had talked to Reich's attorney, and the lawyer said his client had "cooperated" with federal prosecutors.

The hedge fund added that Reich's lawyer said federal authorities have not asked any questions about Reich's work for WCG, where he has been a portfolio manager since July 2010.

A spokesman for the Department of Justice declined to comment.

Kenneth Ulbricht, the chief operating officer for WCG, did not respond to requests for comment on the hedge fund's email to investors. Reich's lawyer, Ira Lee Sorkin, a partner in the white collar defense group at Lowenstein Sandler, declined to comment on the hedge fund's email.

Reuters last week reported that Reich was drawing scrutiny from federal prosecutors in Washington, D.C., after being fired from Barclays in March 2010 for allegedly sending inappropriate emails seeking information concerning the pricing of Libor, information that could have been used in his trading positions.

In its investor email, WCG, referenced the Reuters story.   Continued...

A logo of Barclays bank is seen outside a branch in Altrincham, northern England April 26, 2012. REUTERS/Phil Noble