Five traders from Barclays and Deutsche Bank to appear in first Euribor-rigging trial today

Alexandra Rogers
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Carlo Palombo is one of five traders who have been charged with conspiracy to defraud

The first trial into manipulations of the Euro Interbank Offered Rate (Euribor) will kick off today as five former traders stand accused of manipulating the Brussels-based benchmark at the height of the financial crisis.

Four former Barclays traders - Philippe Moryoussef, Carlo Palombo, Colin Bermingham and Sisse Bohart - and ex- Deutsche Bank trader Achim Kramer, will appear before Southwark crown court to face charges of conspiracy to defraud, brought against them by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in January 2016.

A charge of conspiracy to defraud carries a maximum sentence of 10 years.

The trial was originally scheduled for September 2017 but was pushed back following a number of delays.

A sixth trader, Christian Bittar, pleaded guilty to Euribor manipulation last month. Bittar was once considered one of Deutsche Bank’s most successful bankers. In 2016, he was charged along with the five others over their role in rigging Euribor rates between January 2005 and December 2009.

Another Barclays trader, Alex Pabon, also lost an appeal against his Libor rigging sentence last month, after a court found that doubts surrounding the credibility of an expert witness did not merit his conviction being overturned.

Pabon was among three traders to be convicted by the SFO in 2016 for their roles in manipulating the London inter-bank offered rate, but had been seeking to have his conviction quashed owing to the conduct of a Mr Saul Haydon Rowe, who had "fared disastrously" at the retrial of two other traders, Stylianos Contogoulas and Ryan Michael Reich, who were later acquitted of Libor misconduct charges.

The most high-profile case involving Tom Hayes, the first person to be charged with Libor manipulation, took a further twist last month when the former UBS and Citigroup trader lost an appeal against a confiscation order that forced his wife to sell their £1.6m family home in Surrey.

The Court of Appeal ruled that despite the fact that Hayes had gifted a share of the Old Rectory to his wife, Sarah Tighe, the money to buy the house had come from Hayes' activity at the banks and therefore should be classified as a "tainted gift" under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Hayes was the first person in the UK to be found guilty of playing a role in the Libor-rigging scandal and is currently serving an 11-year sentence at Lowdham Grange prison, reduced from 14 years.

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