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Sixth LIBOR defendant acquitted in London

A jury in London Thursday acquitted a sixth defendant of manipulating LIBOR — — the benchmark interest rate banks pay to borrow money from each other in the London market.

Darrell Paul Read, 50, had been acquitted Wednesday on one count of conspiracy to defraud. But the jury at London’s Southwark Crown Court continued deliberating another count against him.

The panel Thursday reached a further verdict of not guilty on the final count.

On Wednesday, the jury also acquitted five other individuals after a four week trial.

The five were Colin John Goodman, 54, Danny Martin Wilkinson, 49, Terry John Farr, 44, James Andrew Gilmour, 50, and Noel Anthony Cryan, 50.

Read, Goodman and Wilkinson are all former employees at ICAP Plc; Farr and Gilmour of RP Martin Holdings Limited; and Cryan of Tullett Prebon Group Ltd.

The Serious Fraud Office alleged that all six conspired with Tom Hayes, who was convicted after a trial last year and sentenced to 14 years in prison. An appeals court later reduced his sentence to nine years.

The SFO said the defendants acted on instructions from Hayes to influence the submissions of panel banks in the Yen LIBOR setting process.

Hayes, 35, was a former derivatives trader at UBS and Citigroup. A jury convicted him of eight counts of conspiracy to defraud.

LIBOR — the London Interbank Offered Rate — is critical to financial markets. A huge number of investments and trades are linked to LIBOR, including some commercial and consumer loans, savings rates, and mortgages.

In the United States, a federal jury in Manhattan in November last year convicted two former London traders of rigging LIBOR.

Anthony Allen, 44, and Anthony Conti, 46, both UK citizens, were found guilty of 28 counts. They face up to 30 years in prison.

The bank they worked for, Rabobank, and a half dozen other banks have paid more than $10 billion to settle U.S. criminal and civil charges for manipulating LIBOR.

In the UK, the SFO charged a total of 19 defendants in the case.

Another trial of individuals charged with manipulating the U.S. Dollar LIBOR is scheduled to begin in London on February 15.

A trial of individuals charged with fixing the Euro Interbank Offered Rate (EURIBOR) is scheduled to start on September 4, 2017.

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Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.

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