Euribor Trader unanimously acquitted. Amanda Pinto QC & Christopher Convey representing.

The trader was unanimously acquitted of one charge of conspiracy to defraud. Other defendants have been convicted of reference rate manipulation, including Christian Bittar, Philippe Moryoussef, Carlo Palombo and Colin Bermingham.

In the re-trial that started in January, Counsel for the SFO argued that the defendants worked together and with other traders at Barclays, Deutsche Bank AG and Societe General between January 2005 and December 2009 to submit “false or misleading” estimates to the process for setting Euribor rates.

The SFO’s probe into Euribor was part of an investigation launched in 2012 into interest rate manipulation that prompted an overhaul of rate-setting rules.

If you would like to find out more, or instruct Amanda or Christopher, please contact the Practice Directors.

Sentences handed down in Operation Adobe - Alistair Webster Q.C. & Fiona Jackson prosecuting for SFO

At Liverpool Crown Court on the 2nd October, sentences were handed down on 6 defendants who had all been convicted after a prosecution brought by the Serious Fraud Office, led by Alistair Webster Q.C.  Following a four and a half month trial, the men were convicted of conspiracy to commit fraud.  The convictions were the culmination of a 4 year investigation on which Alistair & Fiona have been engaged throughout.

Sentences totalled 30 years and 4 months, with directors’ disqualifications totalling 48 years also imposed.

Alistair comments: “ It is really good to have been involved from the very earliest stages of the operation, dating back to the applications for search warrants.  The lead conspirators were deeply devious and dishonest men who put up an elaborate defence designed to fool the jury. My team is left with a sense of satisfaction for a job well done.”

Fiona Jackson is now also dealing with the confiscation on behalf of the SFO.

The New York Times - Six Men Jailed in Britain Over 'Predatory' Solar Energy Panel Scam

BBC News - 'Deceitful' £17m solar panel scam gang jailed for fraud

CNBC - Six men jailed in Britain over "predatory" solar energy panel scam

The Times - Six guilty of £17m solar panel fraud

If you would like to find out more, or instruct Alistair or Fiona, please contact the Practice Directors.

City Hedge Fund Manager Convicted of Multi-Million Pound Fraud - Amanda Pinto QC for the SFO

A former city hedge fund manager was today, 19 January 2015, convicted following the Serious Fraud Office's investigation into the collapse of Weavering Macro Fixed Income Fund Ltd.

The SFO's investigation focused mainly on a number of interest rate swap trades between the Weavering Macro Fund and another offshore company, Weavering Capital Fund Ltd, which Mr Peterson also owned and controlled.

Over the six years in which the fund operated, Mr Peterson used the swap trades to inflate artificially the Macro Fund's investment performance, and thereby mislead investors as to its true value. The reported value of the fund grew increasingly to depend on the bad debt generated by the swap trades with the related counterparty to the point that when it collapsed in March 2009, its entire net worth was based on those valueless swaps.

Over a six year period investors were misled into putting US$780 million into the Macro Fund, which was marketed as a low risk and liquid fund primarily engaged in exchange trading. When investors began asking for their money back in December 2008 following the worldwide financial crisis, there were no real assets to fund any repayments. Unable to pay back investors, the Macro Fund ceased trading on the Irish Stock Exchange in March 2009 and liquidators were appointed. The net losses to the investors were approximately US$536m.

Throughout the fund's existence, Mr Peterson rewarded himself handsomely from investors' monies, to the value of £5.8 million between 2005 and 2009. Whilst Mr Peterson knew full well what the true value of the fund was when it collapsed, his investors did not. To them, the extensive losses they suffered came as a complete shock.

Commenting on the verdict, Director of the SFO, David Green CB QC said:

"I would like to thank all those who assisted us with this highly complex international investigation, including investors, auditors, liquidators, the Irish Stock Exchange, City of London Police and overseas law enforcement authorities, without whose assistance we could not have built this challenging case."

This is one of the first hedge fund prosecutions of its kind to arise out of the 2008 financial crisis. The SFO is grateful to the assistance it received from authorities in the British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Germany, Luxemburg, Republic of Ireland, South Africa, Sweden, and Switzerland. The defendant will be sentenced at Southwark Crown Court on 23 January 2015. He has been remanded in custody.