Ex-ICAP Brokers Charged in U.K. Libor Probe as Total Hits 14

Mar 28, 2014 8:00 pm ET

March 29 (Bloomberg) -- Three former ICAP Plc brokers will be charged by U.K. prosecutors for helping manipulate benchmark rates, seven months after they were charged in the U.S. for similar offenses.

The U.K. Serious Fraud Office notified Daniel Wilkinson, Colin Goodman and Darrell Read yesterday that they will be charged, the agency said in a statement. That brings the number of people accused in parallel U.S. and U.K. criminal investigations into manipulation of the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, to 14. Serra Balls, a spokeswoman for ICAP, declined to comment.

Regulators and prosecutors around the world are probing how derivatives traders and bankers who submitted interest-rate data colluded to ensure benchmarks benefited their own trades, potentially affecting more than $300 trillion of loans, financial products and contracts tied to the rate, issuing around $6 billion in fines against financial institutions.

“Goodman strongly asserts his innocence of the charges laid against him by the Serious Fraud Office,” his lawyer, David Janes, said in an e-mail. The English court system is the “correct and appropriate jurisdiction and forum for the allegations against him to be tried and tested.”

The three men were interviewed by the SFO late last year, two people with knowledge of the probe said at the time. Wilkinson and Read were derivatives brokers and Goodman was a cash broker, the U.S. Justice Department said when the trio were charged in September. The SFO alleges the men “conspired to defraud” in connection with Libor manipulation between August 2006 and September 2010. They are scheduled to appear at a London criminal court on April 15, the SFO said.

Read’s lawyer, Eve Giles, and Wilkinson’s lawyer, Matthew Frankland, didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

ICAP Fines

ICAP became the first interdealer broker fined in the probe in September with an $88 million penalty by U.S. and U.K. authorities for rigging Libor tied to the Japanese yen. Barclays Plc, UBS AG, Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and Rabobank Groep have also been fined for rigging the benchmark.

Tom Hayes, a former UBS AG and Citigroup Inc. banker, is scheduled in January to be the first person to stand trial for Libor manipulation in the U.K. Former RP Martin Holdings Ltd. brokers, Terry Farr and James Gilmour, are set to follow with a trial date in September 2015.

The U.S. has charged eight people, including Hayes and the trio from ICAP. Former Rabobank traders Paul Robson, Paul Thompson and Tetsuya Motomura, and former UBS trader Roger Darin have also been accused by the Justice Department. None are in U.S. custody.