Ex-Rabobank trader pleads not guilty in U.S. case over Libor

Fri Mar 20, 2015 6:15pm EDT
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By Nate Raymond

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A former trader at Dutch lender Rabobank [RABO.UL] pleaded not guilty on Friday to U.S. charges that he engaged in a scheme to manipulate Libor, the benchmark interest rate at the center of global investigations into misconduct at various banks.

Anthony Allen, a British citizen and former global head of liquidity and finance at Rabobank, entered his plea in federal court in Manhattan, becoming the first defendant to waive extradition to fight U.S. charges over Libor manipulation.

U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff set trial for Oct. 5. Another ex-Rabobank employee, Anthony Conti, could join Allen for trial after Conti's lawyer said he was preparing to also waive extradition from England.

Libor, or the London interbank offered rate, is a key short-term rate that banks charge each other for loans. The rate underpins hundreds of trillions of dollars of financial products from mortgages to credit card loans worldwide.

U.S. and European authorities have been probing whether banks attempted to manipulate the rate to benefit their own trading positions.

The probe has resulted in over $6 billion in settlements with banks and brokerages and several people being charged, including 11 in the United States.

Allen's court appearance came after a U.S. judge on Friday rejected a bid by former UBS AG UBSN.S trader Roger Darin to dismiss similar charges that he conspired to manipulate the yen Libor rate.

Unlike Allen, Darin, a Swiss citizen, has not appeared in court. Switzerland does not extradite its citizens. His lawyer declined to comment.   Continued...

Anthony Allen, a British citizen who was Rabobank's former global head of liquidity and finance, exits the U.S. Federal Courthouse in the Manhattan borough of New York, March 20, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid