Former UBS and Citigroup trader Tom Hayes was ordered to pay just shy of £900,000 by a court yesterday, or face yet more time in jail.
Hayes, who was found guilty last August on eight counts of conspiracy to defraud for his role in manipulating Libor, was hit with an £878,806 confiscation order following a proceeds of crime hearing. Items contested as being up for grabs by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) included Hayes’ bank accounts, a Mercedes car and his wedding ring.
However, by far the most valuable asset was the Old Rectory – a house in Surrey worth roughly £1.7m. The court also heard that Hayes’ assets which could be immediately realised, such as his bank accounts, were worth around £50,000.
“It is obvious what the position is,” said Justice Jeremy Cooke. “The house has to be sold.”
Should Hayes not be able to pay the £878,806 confiscation order, he will face more time in prison. Justice Cooke set the default period of imprisonment at three years.
Hayes may also have to contribute to the costs of the trial, although the two teams of lawyers are still discussing this aspect. A statement issued on behalf of Hayes thanked “the many members of the public that have shown me strong and sustained support throughout a period in which the SFO has tried to take everything from me – from my liberty to my wedding ring.”
Matthew Frankland, partner at Byrne and Partners, who successfully defended former broker Danny Wilkinson on Libor
related charges, remarked: “It seems the SFO’s approach to Mr Hayes’ confiscation has been as aggressive as it was to his trial. The pursuit by them of the engagement ring he gave to his wife is a fairly unprecedented
But Peter Binning, partner at Corker Binning, said: “It was entirely predictable that the SFO would explore every avenue to ensure that they recovered any criminal benefits.”
Hayes was sentenced to 14 years in prison in the first instance, but this was reduced to 11 years by the Court of Appeal last December. The former trader did intend to appeal to the Supreme Court, but this was blocked earlier this month.
Hayes did not attend the reading of the judgment, and he can appeal yesterday's decision.
Hayes' proceeds of confiscation hearing was the last case that Justice Cooke will oversee, as he is now retiring.