Convicted Libor traders hit back at fraud squad boss for "misleading" comments

Hayley Kirton
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Tom Hayes outside court in 2015
Tom Hayes is currently serving an 11 year prison sentence (Source: Getty)

Two convicted Libor traders have launched fresh attacks against the head of the fraud squad for presenting "misleading" stories about their trials.

The scathing criticism comes after David Green, director of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), gave evidence to the Justice Select Committee last month on, among other things, his agency's performance in the Libor trials.

In a letter seen by City A.M., Tom Hayes, the first person to be found guilty by a jury in the UK for his role in the Libor rigging scandal, has argued Green's version of events was not an accurate depiction of his trial.

"I believe that your evidence before the Justice Select Committee was misleading," Hayes wrote, adding that he found Green's suggestion the decision the jury at his trial was asked to make revolved around issues of just dishonesty to be "frankly astonishing".

Read more: Ex-trader's alleged Libor rigging acts part of bank culture, court hears

In a separate but similarly-toned letter, Julie Pabon, wife of convicted ex-Barclays trader Alex Pabon, said she was "outraged" by Green's testimony to MPs, adding the proposition that the key issue in her husband's trial had been one of honesty and dishonesty was "untrue".

In particular, the two letters take issue with Green's remarks that the traders had been prosecuted because the evidence had lead his agency in their direction.

"We don't go after the people," Green told MPs. "We go after the evidence and we go after the people the evidence points to."

Both Hayes and Pabon slammed this statement in their letters, claiming the agency had been far too reliant on evidence provided by UBS and Barclays respectively, rather than carrying out its own investigations.

Read more: Ex-Barclays trio in bid to appeal their Libor convictions

"Since you have not been given access to all of the available evidence, on what basis are you selecting prosecution targets?" Hayes wrote.

Pabon added: "It is obvious that the SFO merely relied on the results of Barclays' self-serving investigation to form the basis of the criminal prosecution of my husband and others."

Hayes, who was a UBS and Citigroup trader, is currently serving an 11-year prison sentence. He was found guilty of eight counts of conspiracy to defraud in August last year and initially sentenced for 14 years, but this was later reduced by the Court of Appeal.

Read more: The Libor trial could be a turning point for SFO

Meanwhile, Alex Pabon was found guilty this summer, and was sentenced for two years and nine months. Fellow ex-Barclays bankers Jay Merchant and Jonathan Mathew were also found guilty as part of Pabon's trial, while former Barclays submitter Peter Johnson pleaded guilty at an earlier date.

An SFO spokesperson said: "It is inappropriate for us to comment. Our investigation into Libor and Euribor manipulation continues and there are forthcoming proceedings in the court. We follow the evidence wherever and as high as it takes us."

UBS and Barclays declined to comment.

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