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Saturday, October 24, 2015

Former Rabobank Trader Paul Thompson, Accused of LIBOR Rigging, Arrested Down Under

Here's a clip from today's Wall Street Journal article:

"...A former Rabobank trader wanted by U.S. prosecutors for his alleged role in manipulating a key benchmark interest rate has been arrested, Australian authorities said Saturday.
Paul Thompson, an Australian citizen and former derivatives trader for Dutch bank Rabobank Groep NV in Singapore, was detained Thursday in the Western Australian capital of Perth following an extradition request by the U.S., a spokesperson from the Australian Attorney-General’s Department said.
Mr. Thompson is one of seven former Rabobank employees charged in connection with the world-wide LIBOR manipulation scandal that has ensnared at least 18 financial institutions and 35 individuals. The interest rate underpins bank lending products worth trillions of dollars—from mortgages to student loans.
'Mr. Thompson is wanted to face prosecution in the United States for wire and bank fraud offenses,'  the spokesperson said.
In a statement, Mr. Thompson’s wife, Robyn, said: 'There is no reason for Paul to be charged by the U.S. For this reason we were hoping that Paul could defend himself against any allegations in either Australia or the U.K., so he could have access to the necessary evidence, financial and emotional support to do this properly.'  Ms. Thompson also said his family would be seeking bail for the trader. A spokeswoman at Rabobank’s base in Utrecht declined to comment on the arrest and court case, saying Rabobank wasn’t a party in the current U.S. trial.
Two other former Rabobank traders, Anthony Allen and Anthony Conti, are currently facing court in New York on charges of conspiring to rig LIBOR for their own benefit between May 2006 and early 2011. If convicted, they could spend years in prison. Both men deny the allegations. Meanwhile, three former Rabobank colleagues have pleaded guilty to criminal charges of manipulating LIBOR. Another former Rabobank yen LIBOR derivatives trader, Tetsuya Motomura, hasn’t yet entered a plea. He was charged, alongside Mr. Thompson, with conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud, according to the Justice Department.
The Rabobank trial parallels similar court cases under way in the U.K. So far, 13 individuals have been charged in the U.S. in connection with the LIBOR investigation. Some of the world’s largest banks have admitted to manipulating the rate, including Rabobank.
In 2013, when Rabobank agreed to pay $1.07 billion in a settlement with U.S., British, Dutch and Japanese authorities, a member of its executive board said: “It’s shameful what has happened.”
This summer, a British judge sentenced Tom Hayes, a former UBS and Citigroup trader, to 14 years in prison for manipulating LIBOR. He became to first individual to be criminally convicted in the world-wide probe..."

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