Not guilty! Southwark Crown Court acquits two former Barclays traders in Libor rigging trial

Maria Nikolova

Following a retrial, Stylianos Contogoulas and Ryan Michael Reich were acquitted of conspiracy to defraud.

The legal prosecution against traders accused of financial market manipulation goes on, with the latest piece of news in this respect coming from the UK today.

The UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has earlier today confirmed that two former Barclays traders were acquitted of charges of Conspiracy to Defraud. Stylianos Contogoulas and Ryan Michael Reich were acquitted by a jury at Southwark Crown Court today following a retrial.

Criminal proceedings against Mr Contogoulas, who used to work at Barclays’ London swaps desk, started in March 2014, when he, Peter Charles Johnson and Jonathan James Mathew faced charges in connection with the manipulation of LIBOR. It was alleged they conspired to defraud between June 1, 2005 and August 31, 2007.

In April 2014, the Serious Fraud Office issued criminal proceedings against Jay Vijay Merchant, Alex Julian Pabon and Ryan Michael Reich. Mr Reich who used to work at Barclays’ New York swaps desk was charged for conspiracy to defraud in connection with the SFO investigation into the manipulation of LIBOR.

In July 2016, it became clear that a jury could not reach verdicts for Stylianos Contogoulas and Ryan Michael Reich. Soon after that, the SFO announced that it was seeking a retrial of Mr Contogoulas and Mr Reich. Following the retrial, the verdicts for both are “not guilty”.

The UK SFO accepted the Libor (London Interbank Offer Rate) case for investigation in July 2012.

Charges with regards to manipulation of Libor and Euribor have so far been brought against 19 individuals, the SFO explains. Of these 19 individuals, Peter Johnson pleaded guilty, whereas six inter-dealer brokers were acquitted. Tom Hayes was convicted.

Tom Hayes, an ex-derivatives trader at UBS and Citigroup in Tokyo, was arrested in Surrey in December 2012 in connection with an SFO investigation into the manipulation of in Japanese Yen LIBOR. Mr Hayes’ trial at Southwark Crown Court started in May 2015. He was convicted by a jury in August 2015 on all eight counts of conspiracy to defraud. He is currently serving an 11-year prison sentence.

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