City traders jailed for rigging Libor line up legal bid to clear their names

Four City merchants jailed for setting a key interest rate prepare a new legal challenge to clear their names

Four City merchants jailed for setting a key interest rate prepare a new legal challenge.

It follows the news that another trader, Tom Hayes, had won the right to appeal in the UK against his conviction for manipulating the Libor rate used by major banks to price each other short-term loans.

Hayes, 43, was the first Briton to be jailed for Libor fixing.

He was given the green light last week to take his case to the Court of Appeals of the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC).

That ruling has prompted four other traders to launch separate legal campaigns to clear their names — and one of them is also joining Hayes’ challenge in the Court of Appeals. The Mail on Sunday understands that up to five others can join the group action.

Attractive: Tom Hayes was sentenced to 14 years and was the first Briton to be convicted of Libor fixing

Legal wrangling over Libor has been going on since the scandal erupted a decade ago, sending shockwaves across global markets and netting billions of pounds in fines for banks.

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) accused Hayes of being the “circus master” behind a so-called international conspiracy, though he was not alone in spending years behind bars.

Former Barclays trader Carlo Palombo, who received a four-year prison sentence for Libor fraud, plans to join Hayes on the Court of Appeals. He said he will not rest until justice is served.

“I don’t feel free,” he told the MoS, “my life isn’t the same on so many levels and psychologically it’s really hard. I can’t sleep at night.’ Palombo was jailed in 2019 – during which time he missed the birth of his daughter – and was released two years later. Before he was in prison and after leaving Barclays, he moved to California to earn a doctorate in philosophy. He has since had to leave the US.

“Our home is still in California and I’m never allowed to go there again because of my criminal conviction,” he said.

“I feel a lot of anger. I refuse to close this case, but the result is constant anger.”

City attorney Ben Rose represents the convicted Libor traffickers in their legal battle. He claims their prison sentences were “legally flawed and procedurally unfair.”

Jay Merchant is another captured merchant who is part of the group action. He said, ‘I’m going to fight this until I die. We will continue to connect.’

Hayes told the Daily Mail he burst into tears when he found out his case had been referred back to the Court of Appeal – six and a half years after he first applied to the body.

“It’s been a long and hard battle for me,” he said.

“I’m just so thankful for everyone who stayed with me.”

His 14-year sentence was reduced to 11 years on appeal. He served five-and-a-half.

A spokesman for the SFO said: ‘All of our prosecutions are based on evidence and applicable law. We stand ready to assist the Court of Appeal in considering this referral.”