Two Societe Generale bankers in France were charged in New York with rigging the London interbank offered rate as U.S. prosecutors press ahead with a seven-year international probe into manipulation of the benchmark rate despite a recent setback that makes it tougher for them to win cross-border cases.
Bloomberg News reports that Danielle Sindzingre, 54, and Muriel Bescond, 49, are accused of ordering subordinates to submit fake U.S. dollar Libor rates so it seemed the bank was able to borrow at a lower interest rate.
The submissions “artificially reduced” the U.S. dollar Libor fix, affecting millions of financial transactions tied to the U.S. currency and causing more than $170 million in harm to the global financial markets, U.S. prosecutors said.
The allegations suggest “complete and total disregard for the integrity of the financial markets and for innocent consumers and everyday people whose personal finances hinge on the interest rates they pay on various loans,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
Note: An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
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