Holder seeks criminal charges in alleged rate-fixing scheme

Charged in a criminal complaint unsealed Wednesday in a federal court are former ICAP brokers Darrell Read, Daniel Wilkinson and Colin Goodman. A fourth defendant, Tom Alexander William Hayes, who worked for another firm, faces charges in a complaint unsealed in December.

The charges carry a maximum prison sentence of 30 years, said Mythili Raman, acting assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. 

Earlier Wednesday, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced a $65 million civil fine against ICAP Europe Limited, a subsidiary of UK-based ICAP plc. 

The criminal charges come amid pressure from some in Congress to prosecute more bad actors in the financial sector.

Regulators say the traders “knowingly disseminated false and misleading information” about the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) for Yen.

LIBOR is used as the benchmark for trillions of dollars worth of transactions around the world.

The former ICAP brokers primarily sought to manipulate the rate to abet Hayes, a senior Yen derivatives trader at UBS Securities Japan Co., Ltd, according to the CFTC.

More charges are possible as the case moves forward, Raman said.

“We will follow the evidence where it leads,” she said.