Libor trio to face confiscation orders next month, as hearing scheduled to begin in February

Hayley Kirton
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Jonathan Mathew (pictured) is currently serving a four-year sentence (Source: Getty)

Three ex-Barclays bankers who were found guilty last year of Libor-rigging offences now face being stripped of their property when they return to court again next month.

When they were sentenced last July, it was also announced that Jonathan Mathew, Jay Merchant and Alex Pabon would face a confiscation hearing at a later date. City A.M. has learnt that the Serious Fraud Office has set the date for the hearing as 9 February.

Confiscation proceedings take place following a guilty verdict or plea, with their purpose being to take away any assets from defendants which are found to have been obtained as a result of their crime.

Julie Pabon, Alex's wife, slammed the fraud squad over their plans to bring the hearing, telling City A.M.: "It is just a further heartbreaking injustice that accomplishes nothing other than financially ruining our families."

Mathew, Merchant and Pabon's trial was the third case stemming from the SFO's ongoing investigation into Libor rigging. Throughout the trial, the defence argued their clients had not personally gained from their actions and that they were just doing their job.

In particular, William Clegg QC, representing Mathew, told Southwark Crown Court at one point:

He did what his boss told him to do. He made nothing out of doing this and was promised nothing.

However, when sentencing the three ex-Barclays bankers, Judge Anthony Leonard QC drew a clear link between the men's actions and their incomes, noting: "Each of you earned or could have earned in the future, if your career had flourished, very significant amounts of money."

In 2007 – the latest year their Libor charges relate to – ex-trader Merchant earned £2.2m in salary and bonuses, while former trader Mathew was paid £280,750. Pabon, who stepped away from his banking career and left Barclays in 2006, earned £183,933 for 2005, the earliest year the Libor charges relate to.

Merchant has been sentenced to six and a half years in prison, Mathew to four years and Pabon to two years and nine months. City A.M. revealed last August that the trio had applied to appeal their convictions, but these applications were subsequently turned down.

Peter Johnson, a fourth ex-Barclays banker who pleaded guilty before the start of the trial, has already been handed a confiscation order of £114,501.19.

Tom Hayes, the first person in the UK to be found guilty of Libor-rigging offences, was ordered to pay £878,806 under a confiscation order last March.

Lawyers for the SFO, who argued that Hayes' employers only paid him as generously as they did because of the profits his Libor manipulation generated for them, had made a play for roughly £2m worth of the former UBS and Citigroup trader's belongings, including a £1.7m house in Surrey, his and his wife's wedding rings and the cash in his bank account.

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