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The Charges are the First Related to Manipulation of U.S. Dollar
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Three former Barclay’s employees have been charged by British prosecutors with conspiring to manipulate the benchmark interest rates. Barclays is a British multinational banking and financial services company headquartered in London. According to Bloomberg News, these charges are the first related to the manipulation of U.S. dollar Libor. Peter Charles Johnson, 59, Stylianos Contogoulas, 42, and Jonathan James Mathew, 32, according to an emailed statement by the Serious Fraud Office, were charged with conspiring to defraud between June 2005 and August 2007. Previous cases had been linked to interest-rate benchmarks tied to the Japanese yen.

A lawyer for Stylianos Contogoulas, Roland Ellis, reported his client “intends to defend the allegations” against him, according to Bloomberg News. Spokesman for Barclays, Will Bowen, declined to comment. The Serious Fraud Office reported that the defendants are scheduled to appear at a London criminal court on February 26.

  
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There are parallel criminal probes running in the U.S. and U.K. It has been reported that firms including Barclays and UBS have been fined a total of around $6 billion for manipulating benchmark interest rates. Previously, the U.S. charged Tom Hayes, a former UBS AG and Citigroup AG banker, and former RP Martin brokers Terry Farr and James Gilmour.

In 2009 it was reported that Barclays received billions of dollars from its insurance arrangements with AIG, including US$8.5 Billion from funds provided by the United States to bail out AIG. As of December 31st of 2011 Barclays had total assets of US $2.42 trillion, the seventh-largest of any bank worldwide. The charges against the trio are related to yen Libor but their circumstances do seem shady altogether.

Image Credit: www.theguardian.com

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