Ex-trader Hayes jailed for 14 years by London court for Libor rigging

Mon Aug 3, 2015 12:50pm EDT
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By Kirstin Ridley

LONDON (Reuters) - Ex-trader Tom Hayes was sentenced to 14 years in jail by a London court on Monday after being found guilty of conspiring to rig Libor benchmark interest rates following a seven-year global investigation.

After a nine-week trial and seven days of deliberations, the jury of five women and seven men found Hayes, a 35-year-old former UBS UBSG.VX and Citigroup C.N trader, guilty of all eight counts of conspiracy to defraud.

In the first trial of a defendant accused of Libor rigging, Hayes had faced up to 10 years imprisonment for each count of conspiracy over the manipulation of London interbank offered rate (Libor), a crucial benchmark for around $450 trillion of financial contracts and consumer loans, between 2006 and 2010.

The London trial, which kicked off on May 26, marked a new phase in the inquiry that has led to 21 people being charged and some of the world's most powerful banks and brokerages paying around $9 billion in regulatory settlements.

Justice Jeremy Cooke said a message had to be sent to the world about dishonest conduct in financial services. “Probity and honesty are essential as is trust ... The Libor activities of which you took part puts all that in jeopardy."

Hayes, who sat impassively as he received the verdict, had asked to say goodbye to his wife Sarah before entering the dock. They shared a brief kiss before he was locked in the dock to hear his sentence.

After Hayes left the dock his wife told Reuters the sentence was “horrific” as she made her way out of the courtroom.

Britain's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) had alleged Hayes set up a network of brokers and traders spanning 10 leading financial institutions and cajoled or bribed them to help rig for profit rates designed to reflect the cost of inter-bank borrowing.   Continued...

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