Jailed Libor trader Tom Hayes appeals 14-year sentence, conviction

Mon Nov 30, 2015 10:14am EST
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By Kirstin Ridley

LONDON (Reuters) - Tom Hayes, the first trader convicted by a jury of manipulating Libor benchmark interest rates, on Tuesday begins a two-day, appeal against his conviction and a 14-year jail sentence, one of the toughest to date for white collar crime.

The London case is being heard by Lord Chief Justice John Thomas -- the head of the judiciary in England and Wales -- Brian Leveson, a senior judge who chaired a public inquiry into the ethics of the British media in 2012, and Elizabeth Gloster.

Hayes, a 36-year-old former UBS and Citigroup trader, was in August found unanimously guilty of eight charges of conspiracy to defraud for rigging Libor, the London interbank offered rate, that underpins around $450 trillion of financial contracts and consumer loans worldwide.

Cast as the ringleader in one of the rate-rigging scams that has cost banks billions in regulatory fines, Hayes was found guilty of conspiring to rig Libor for profit.

But his legal team is arguing that High Court Judge Jeremy Cooke made legal errors in the way he handled the trial and that the sentence is wrong in principle and excessive.

Much of the initial argument is expected to focus on what evidence was deemed relevant or admissible during the trial, lawyers say. The arguments about sentence length are likely to rest in part on whether Cooke was right to jail Hayes for consecutive, rather than concurrent, fraud offences.

Richard Cornthwaite, Hayes's lawyer at law firm Cartwright King, said he expected a ruling this week but added that this was "a matter for the court" .


Former trader Tom Hayes arrives at Southwark Crown Court in London, Britain, August 3, 2015.   REUTERS/Peter Nicholls