Two ex-Rabobank traders sentenced to prison for Libor fraud


Washington (AFP)

Two former Rabobank traders convicted of fraud in connection with a scheme by large banks to manipulate the Libor benchmark interest rate were sentenced to prison Thursday, the US Justice Department said.

British nationals Anthony Allen and Anthony Conti, who worked for the Dutch bank in London, were found guilty in November of helping a scheme in which Rabobank submitted false data for the setting of Libor, a key reference for financial products globally.

Allen received a 24-month sentence while Conti got 12 months and a day, the Justice Department said in a statement.

Allen, 44, was the bank's former global head of liquidity and finance in London.

Conti, 46, was a former senior trader on the bank's money markets desk in the British capital.

Their convictions last year after a four-week trial were the first in the United States for the globe-spanning Libor scheme.

"Allen and Conti were entrusted to set Libor, a critically important interest rate benchmark," Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell said in the statement.

"Their scheme to manipulate this rate to increase their bank's profits undermined the integrity of our financial markets and the public's confidence in the fairness of the financial system."

Allen and Conti worked in concert with Rabobank traders to manipulate the Libor rate for the dollar and the yen in ways that benefited the Dutch bank's trading positions, prosecutors had argued.

In total, five former Rabobank employees have been convicted in the investigation and two others have been charged and are awaiting trial, according to the Justice Department.

In October 2013, regulators from Britain, France and the Netherlands fined Rabobank, the second-largest Dutch bank, 774 million euros ($1.1 billion) for its role in conspiring with other large banks to manipulate Libor.