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Ex-Barclays Traders May Be Headed Back To The UK Sooner Than They Thought

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If the UK Serious Fraud Office and the people who are in charge of extradition have anything to say about it.

Britain on Monday filed its first criminal charges against U.S.-based Libor traders, as the UK arm of a complex global investigation into alleged benchmark interest-rate rigging stretches across the Atlantic. The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) charged three former traders at British bank Barclays (BARC.L) - director of dollar fixed-income swaps Jay Merchant and dollar interest rate derivative traders Alex Pabon and Ryan Reich - with conspiracy to defraud in connection with its Libor inquiry. A provisional hearing has been scheduled for the three men, who the SFO confirmed were currently in the United States, at Westminster Magistrates Court in London on May 27.

Lawyers for Reich and Merchant, Ben Rose of Hickman and Rose and Brian Spiro of BCL Burton Copeland, respectively, said their clients refuted any allegations of wrongdoing. "He (Reich) is not guilty of this offence and will vigorously contest these allegations at his forthcoming trial," Reich's lawyer said in an emailed statement. Merchant's lawyer said: "Should this matter proceed, he (Jay Merchant) has no doubt that he will be fully vindicated and it will be shown that he acted at all times in a right and proper manner." Pabon's London lawyer was not immediately available for comment. The charges could prompt the first extradition to Britain from the U.S. in the lengthy investigation into the alleged rigging of Libor (London interbank offered rate), a central cog in the global financial system.

UK prosecutor charges US-based ex-Barclays staff in Libor probe [Reuters]


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