Bloomberg News reports that James Hines, a lawyer for the Serious Fraud Office, said that Jay Merchant didn’t directly contact the London cash desk to ask for Libor to be fixed at a specific number until March 2006. Instead, he had another defendant in the case, Stylianos Contogoulas, communicate the preferred rate for the benchmark to the desk.
"You were getting them to do your dirty work for you,” Hines said. "You believed that Mr. Contogoulas was making the requests face-to-face. You didn’t think that e-mails containing the requests existed at all.”
Merchant, Contogoulas and three of colleagues are on trial in London, and deny accusations that they conspired to rig the London interbank offered rate, a benchmark tied to trillions of dollars in securities and loans, from 2005 through 2007.
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