The ongoing saga of Tom Hayes, the first individual to be convicted for the manipulation of the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), has taken a new twist today, after he was ordered to pay a confiscation order of $1,240,267 (£878,806) by a UK Central Criminal Court, according to a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) statement.
Back in January, a total of six former brokers accused of LIBOR rigging were acquitted by a jury following a lengthy four-month trial. The SFO had alleged that all six defendants – who had collectively worked for ICAP, RP Martin Holdings, and Tullett Prebon – conspired with former trader Mr. Hayes to defraud by agreeing, upon instruction by Hayes, to influence the submissions of panel banks in the yen LIBOR setting process.
Mr. Hayes had previously been convicted of eight counts of conspiracy to defraud back in August 2015, facing a steep 14 years in prison – the sentence has since been reduced to 11 years on appeal. The process saw the dissemination of a variety of angles and motivations surrounding Hayes’ involvement in the scandal, including whether or not he had himself benefited from the unlawful conduct or what was the amount of money he stood to gain or in this case procured.
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The Central Criminal Court’s Justice Cooke, the individual tasked with overseeing the confiscation process, ultimately found that Hayes would not have been rated as highly as he was by UBS and Citi if he had not achieved a marked level of success in the manipulation of LIBOR implicating him in the illicit activity.
In addition, Justice Cooke also concurred with the SFO’s assessment that it was impossible to discern what the LIBOR would have been were it not for the defendant’s attempts to manipulate it. As such, the judge weighed the criminal benefit of Hayes’ activity in levying the confiscation order, which stood at over $1.0 billion. The total available assets total $2,408,471 (£1,705,167). Finally, Justice Cooke ordered that Hayes satisfy the order within a specified period or incur a default prison sentence of three years.
According to Mark Thompson, Head of the SFO’s Proceeds of Crime Division, in a recent statement on the order: “The court acknowledged the challenges of quantifying the benefit from crime in this case. The SFO provided the court with all the available information and the outcome is a substantial confiscation order, which Mr Hayes will need to satisfy or face a further period of imprisonment.”