Libor Convictions Are Under Review by the UK Fraud Authority Due to Disclosure Issues - Latest Global News

Libor Convictions Are Under Review by the UK Fraud Authority Due to Disclosure Issues

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Britain’s Serious Fraud Office is reviewing its Libor prosecutions, including the conviction of former UBS and Citigroup trader Tom Hayes, after problems with the agency’s disclosure software systems forced it to re-examine old cases.

Prosecutors are reviewing convictions from their probe into the manipulation of the interest rate benchmark to determine whether any documents were missed in their disclosure, the agency’s chief operating officer said in an interview with the Financial Times.

The Libor prosecutions are among a group of cases — likely more than a dozen — that are being reinvestigated in connection with problems with the agency’s disclosure tools. The SFO said it was also prioritizing re-examination of cases where people remain in custody, including investigations into Harlequin Group, Balli Steel Plc and Global Forestry Investments.

Errors first emerged when the SFO used the legacy disclosure tool from provider Autonomy Introspect in 2022. The agency is also reviewing ongoing cases after a software issue emerged with its current disclosure system from provider OpenText Axcelerate.

“We’re looking at Libor. . .[as]We have been asked to return to this at this time,” Abigail Howarth said at the SFO’s London offices on Wednesday. “We are looking at the cases individually to see if we can see any impact.” . We started with the few that are more recent and have ongoing activity.”

Hayes, who was the first person in the world to be found guilty over the Libor scandal and served five and a half years in prison, said he was seeking to appeal his conviction to the Supreme Court after an assassination attempt that failed in March.

“The SFO has confirmed that it is considering disclosure of the IBOR cases as a priority and we welcome this development,” said Karen Todner, a lawyer at Hayes.

The agency has long suffered from disclosure problems, which have led to the collapse of a number of high-profile cases. The Autonomy issue, which involves how the tool recognizes punctuation, contributed to the agency’s failed prosecution of three former G4S executives last year.

The SFO has set up a management-level committee called the Gold Group, made up of around 13 people and chaired by Howarth, to consider and manage the review of both the Autonomy and Axcelerate issues. The prosecutor is bringing in outside experts to ensure the approach and corrections were implemented properly, Howarth said.

While the Autonomy issue related to the way search terms were used, the Axcelerate issues relate to coding and issues with the software itself, which the agency says it has resolved.

The SFO has already carried out searches into two ongoing criminal cases – London Mining and Greenergy – and found no issues with disclosure, the agency said.

“It’s early days, but so far we’ve found there’s nothing else of concern,” Howarth said.

Responding to questions from MPs about the disclosure issues, Nick Ephgrave, director of the SFO, said the prosecution was reviewing its strategy and looking to discuss disclosure with judges and the defense earlier in the criminal process.

The former police officer told the House of Commons Justice Committee: “Rarely a day goes by in the office when we are not discussing disclosure – in one form or another.”

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