Monday 4 July 2016 12:13 pm

Three ex-Barclays bankers found guilty of Libor-rigging

Three more former bankers have been slapped with guilty verdicts for their roles in Libor manipulation, taking the total number of UK convictions to five.

Former traders Jay Merchant, 45, and Alex Pabon, 38, and ex-Libor submitter Jonathan Mathew, 35, all stood trial charged with conspiracy to defraud.

The prosecution said that the trio of ex-bankers worked together to manipulate US ­dollar-linked Libor between June 2005 and September 2007.

Merchant was found guilty by a unanimous verdict, while Mathew was found guilty by an 11 to­ one majority and Pabon by a 10 to two majority.

Read more: Everything you ever wanted to know about Libor

“The key issue in this case was dishonesty,” said director of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) David Green. “By their verdicts the jury demonstrated it was sure that the conduct of three of the defendants…was dishonest.”

The jury delivered its verdicts last week. Court restrictions preventing the reporting of the decision were lifted yesterday after the jury was discharged, having been unable to reach a majority verdict on the other two defendants, Stylianos Contogoulas, 44, and Ryan Reich, 34. The fraud squad has a fortnight from yesterday to decide whether it would like to pursue a retrial for Contogoulas and Reich.

Read more: Libor three – Who’s who?

These three most recent verdicts bring the total number of convictions secured as part of the SFO’s Libor investigation to five. A second Libor submitter, 61-year-old Peter Johnson, had pleaded guilty before the most recent trial began.

Meanwhile, last August, former UBS and Citigroup trader Tom Hayes was found guilty on eight counts of conspiracy to defraud and sentenced to 14 years in prison, although this was later reduced to 11 years.

However, in January, six brokers who had been accused of conspiring with Hayes to rig yen-linked Libor were acquitted.

“If the SFO was smarting from the broker acquittals in the second Libor trial, they will feel vindicated and emboldened by these verdicts – as well as a little relieved as the jury deliberated for some time,” said Sarah Wallace, head of regulatory & criminal investigations group London for Irwin Mitchell.

The jury was initially sent out to consider its verdict on 20 June.