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Ex-Barclays bankers jailed in Britain for rigging Euribor

Ex-Barclays bankers jailed in Britain for rigging Euribor

LONDON (Reuters) – Two former Barclays bankers were sentenced on Monday to a total of nine years in jail after they were convicted of conspiring to rig the Euribor global interest rate benchmark. FILE PHOTO: Banker Colin Bermingham leaves Westminster Magistrates court in London, Britain, January 11, 2016. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/File Photo Colin Bermingham, 62, a

LONDON (Reuters) – Two former Barclays bankers were sentenced on Monday to a total of nine years in jail after they were convicted of conspiring to rig the Euribor global interest rate benchmark.

FILE PHOTO: Banker Colin Bermingham leaves Westminster Magistrates court in London, Britain, January 11, 2016. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/File Photo

Colin Bermingham, 62, a British former cash market expert and senior rate submitter, was sentenced to five years while Anglo-Italian Carlo Palombo, a 40-year-old former derivatives trader, received a four-year term.

A “devastated” Palombo and his family needed time to come to terms with the decision while considering any appeal, his lawyer John Hartley, of Hodge Jones & Allen, said in an email.

Sisse Bohart, a Danish junior Barclays trader and submitter, 41, was acquitted last week. The three had faced a re-trial after a previous jury was last year unable to reach a verdict.

The men were convicted by a jury at Southwark Crown Court in the sixth rate-rigging prosecution brought by the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) after a near seven year criminal investigation. It is the second re-trial after a hung jury, underlining the tricky nature of the financial fraud cases.

The sentences are a welcome fillip for the SFO, which has prosecuted five men and one woman over Euribor rigging to date and secured four convictions, including former Deutsche Bank star trader Christian Bittar and one-time Barclays trader Phillipe Moryoussef in 2018.

“These men deliberately undermined the integrity of the financial system for personal gain and to advantage the banks they worked for,” said Lisa Osofsky, the head of the SFO.

“We are committed to bringing those who defraud others to justice, regardless of how long ago the offences took place.”

Bittar, one of the world’s best-paid traders who earned more than 57 million pounds ($74 million) over the five-year indictment period, was sentenced to five years and four months after pleading guilty.

Moryoussef, tried in absentia after fleeing to France when Bittar’s plea was made public, was sentenced to eight years. He remains in France.

Eleven banks and brokerages have been fined a total of $9 billion to settle rate-rigging allegations in a global investigation. Barclays paid a $453 million penalty in 2012, sparking a backlash that forced out former CEO Bob Diamond, the British fraud inquiry and an overhaul of rate-setting rules.

Additional reporting by Lawrence White; Editing by Alexander Smith

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