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Horrible premonition of Barclays’ LIBOR submitter now facing criminal charges

Beware criminal charges

Beware criminal charges

As has been widely reported, three (ex)-Barclays employees are facing criminal charges from the UK’s serious fraud office in relation to the manipulation of LIBOR. They are: Peter Johnson and Jonathan Matthew, both former ‘rates submitters’ and Stylianos Contogoulas, formerly a rates trader.

The Wall Street Journal reports that both Johnson and Matthew were let go by Barclays back in 2012. Neither man has worked since. Contogoulas, on the other hand, escaped to Merrill Lynch in 2006 and stayed there until September 2011 according to the FCA Register. Contogoulas too has yet to resurface in a new role in London, although the electoral register suggests he is lying low in Chelsea.

If convicted, all three men could face up to ten years in prison. 

Scarily, one of those facing charges, Peter Johnson, seems to have had an intimation of the possible dangers and attempted to cover his back. According to a January 2013 article in the Financial Times, Johnson sent an email to his then-boss Miles Storey (a manager in the treasury department in November 2007) seeking written management guidance on the rate-setting process.

Storey responded that, “Guidance, if you can call if that, from the 31st floor [the executive suite] is that we don’t stick our head above the parapet in any circumstance.”

Storey left Barclays and now works at Clydesdale Bank according to the FCA Register. Today’s charges suggest Johnson’s attempt to cover himself wasn’t successful. This may be because his email was sent in November 2007, whereas the charges reportedly relate to the period between June 2005 and August of that year.

 

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