Fraud squad says to convicted former UBS and Citigroup FX trader Tom Hayes: “Hand over all your assets”

For Tom Hayes, the London-based Yen derivatives trader who became a prominent figure within the criminal investigations into FX rate rigging within interbank desks last year due to the somewhat controversial ruling against him in August in which he was found guilty of eight charges of conspiracy to defraud for his part in the LIBOR […]

FX trader Tom Hayes to be convicted

For Tom Hayes, the London-based Yen derivatives trader who became a prominent figure within the criminal investigations into FX rate rigging within interbank desks last year due to the somewhat controversial ruling against him in August in which he was found guilty of eight charges of conspiracy to defraud for his part in the LIBOR rate rigging scandal, consigning him to 14 years in jail, the grip of the authorities is tightening even further.

Yesterday evening, Mr. Hayes was ordered to hand over his entire portfolio of personal assets, or face an extended jail term.

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has made a comprehensive assessment of Mr. Hayes’ assets which range from his home as the principle asset, valued at £1.7 million, his personal pension fund, and somewhat unbelievably, his wife’s wedding ring and engagement ring.

The British authorities have made an example of Mr. Hayes to say the least, and in December last year, his lawyers took his case to the court of appeal, stating that he was denied a fair trial.

At that time, the team of lawyers representing Mr. Hayes believed that the jail sentence was far too harsh, largely because Mr. Hayes’ defense was prevented from delivering key evidence. His sentence was later reduced to 11 years.

At the time of sentencing, famous ‘rogue trader’ Nick Leeson, who had brought down Barings in the early 1990s and served a jail term, his trading escapades later becoming the subject of a movie, had stated he believes Mr. Hayes’ sentence to be “too heavy.”

Mr. Hayes had his sentence reduced to 11 years, which is still the longest sentence handed down to any individual trader since the criminal investigations into LIBOR and FX benchmark rigging had begun two years ago, however this is clearly not enough as the SFO has now brought about a further prosecution case which claims that Mr. Hayes’ ability to increase his profits by working to manipulate LIBOR made him highly valuable to his employers, and demonstrated this by showing internal emails which were sent whilst Mr. Hayes worked at UBS shortly after he was approached by Citigroup reading “If Tom was easily replaceable, Citi would have given up by now.”

The court heard that the SFO believes that the edge given to Mr. Hayes by his ability to manipulate the LIBOR rates “put himself in a position where he was perceived to be the top man in what was a relatively small pond of Yen Libor traders”.

The case has not yet been concluded, however the court has suggested that if Mr. Hayes does not agree to the seizure of his assets which go right the way down to his wife’s rings, the term of his stretch in jail may be increased.

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