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Swiss Citizen Accused of LIBOR Rate Manipulation


On Aug. 3, it was reported that a U.S. district judge ruled that a Swiss citizen who was accused of being involved in Libor rate manipulation would not have his case dismissed. The judge stated that the citizen was flouting the United States judicial process by having his lawyers ask for a dismissal while he remained in Switzerland.

The judge reportedly made the ruling hours after the man’s co-defendant was sentenced to 14 years in a similar case in London. The co-defendant was found guilty of conspiring to rig Libor interest rates. It was believed that the Swiss citizen, who worked in Singapore, Zurich and Tokyo, conspired with his co-defendant to commit wire fraud. This was reportedly done by submitting yen Libor opinions that were designed to benefit his co-defendant.

The Swiss citizen’s defense team argued that the defendant was not a fugitive as he never fled the U.S. Additionally, he had not even been in the U.S. since the criminal complaint against him was filed in 2012. As such, the citizen had not appeared in a U.S. court. It was not known if he ever would as Switzerland does not extradite its citizens.

When someone has been charged with a white collar crime such as fraud, the penalties could potentially include incarceration and substantial fines. A criminal defense attorney may have different strategies to employ, including an argument that the defendant was an unwitting participant in a larger scheme that was being carried out without his or her knowledge.

Source: Reuters, “‘‘Fugitive’ ex-UBS trader cannot escape U.S. case over Libor: judge“, Nate Raymond, Aug. 3, 2015