The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has announced the closure of its investigation into LIBOR manipulation. Following a thorough investigation and a detailed review of the available evidence, there will be no further charges brought in this case. This decision was taken in line with the test in the Code for Crown Prosecutors.
The SFO’s investigation into LIBOR manipulation has seen charges of conspiracy to defraud brought against 13 individuals. In October 2014, Peter Johnson pleaded guilty to manipulating the US Dollar LIBOR. This was, in fact, the first criminal conviction for a LIBOR offence in the UK.
Jonathan Matthew, Jay Merchant and Alex Pabon were convicted by a jury of the same charges in July 2016.
In August 2015, Tom Hayes was convicted on eight counts of conspiracy to defraud in relation the manipulation of Japanese Yen LIBOR.
Between January 2016 and April 2017, six individuals were acquitted by jury of manipulating Yen LIBOR and two acquitted of manipulating US Dollar LIBOR.
All strands of the SFO’s investigation into LIBOR manipulation are now closed.
Neil Williams, legal director of business crime solicitor Rahman Ravelli, commented: “This announcement brings to an end an investigation that began more than seven years ago. It has attracted headlines, not least because of some of the very large fines that have been levied on some banks.’’
He continued: “As ever in cases of this nature, the difficulties in proving cases against individuals have been apparent. Considering the number of individuals charged, the SFO has achieved what can best be described as a limited amount of success. The outcomes have proved to be a mixed bag.’’
In conclusion, Williams stated: “The announcement makes it clear that the SFO is prepared to settle for its limited success and move on. It would not be surprising if those at the top of the SFO are now glad to put LIBOR firmly behind them. They can now focus instead on the cases that they wish to pursue and pursue them in the manner they deem appropriate.’’