Two former star traders jailed for Euribor rigging

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Two former traders were sentenced to prison today following fraud convictions for rigging the Euribor benchmark.

Former Barclays trader Philippe Moryoussef, 50, was sentenced to eight years after he was convicted in his absence last week of conspiracy to defraud.

Moryoussef left the country before the trial started and is now in France.

Star former Deutsche Bank trader Christian Bittar, 46, pleaded guilty to the same charge before the trial began and was sentenced today to five years and four months in prison.

Read more: Star former Barclays trader convicted of Euribor rate rigging

Earlier the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) asked a court for a retrial of three traders also accused of rigging the Euribor benchmark after a previous jury was unable to come to a verdict.

The jury in the trial of three former Barclays traders Carlo Palombo, Colin Bermingham and Sisse Bohart was discharged last week after being unable to reach a verdict.

The retrial is scheduled to begin on 14 January 2019 at Southwark Crown Court.

Palombo's lawyer, John Hartley of Hodge Jones & Allen said: “We are naturally disappointed that the Serious Fraud Office have sought a retrial in this case and that our client will have this matter hanging over him and his family for another year. However, we are confident that a retrial will finally provide the justice Mr Palombo he deserves and he remains confident that he will be acquitted.”

Bermingham's lawyer Rachel Adamson, head of crime at Slater and Gordon, said: “We have already been through one very lengthy trial, at the end of which the SFO failed to convince a jury that Mr Bermingham was guilty of any crime whatsoever. It’s very disappointing they’ve have now chosen to attempt the process all over again at considerable expense to the taxpayer.”

Bohart's lawyer John Milner of IBB Solicitors said: "On behalf of Sisse Bohart we are disappointed by the SFO decision to proceed to a second trial. We made detailed written submissions that in her case it would not be in the public interest to try her again. Sadly those submissions have been ignored and she will now be tried again in January 2019, more than 10 years after she left the bank and the UK."

The SFO opened its investigation into allegations of Euribor - Euro Interbank Offered Rate - rigging in June 2012, when it undertook similar probes in allegations of fixing around the UK's benchmark, Libor.

Read more: The system was flawed, says lawyer for trader accused of Euribor rigging

The SFO originally planned to charge 11 Deutsche Bank, Barclays and Societe Generale traders in the Euribor case. However, five men from Germany and France did not attend a London court hearing to be formally charged in 2016 and they have not been subsequently extradited.

Full story: Two former star traders jailed for Euribor rigging: City A.M.

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