(Corrects date in 6th paragraph to Mar. 3 from Feb. 3)
By Kirstin Ridley and Freya Berry
LONDON Feb 26 Three former Barclays
traders appeared in a London court on Wednesday charged with
running a two-year scheme to manipulate Libor benchmark interest
The men, who spoke only to confirm personal details such as
addresses, bring to six the number facing criminal charges in
Britain over allegations that they rigged the London Interbank
Offered Rate, against which about $450 trillion of financial
products are pegged, from student loans to complex derivatives.
The sprawling Libor investigation, which stretches from
North America to Asia and has shaken faith in the financial
industry, has so far resulted in 10 banks and brokerages being
fined a total of $6 billion and charges brought against 13
Britain's Serious Fraud Office (SFO), keen to silence
critics who have questioned its ability to secure convictions
for complex financial crimes, alleges that the latest trio
either submitted or agreed to procure false or misleading dollar
Libor rates to boost the trading positions of Barclays staff.
Peter Charles Johnson, 59, Jonathan Mathew, 33, and
Stylianos Contogoulas, 42, all face one count of conspiracy to
defraud between June 2005 and August 2007.
The three men, whose case has been sent to the higher
Southwark Crown Court for Mar. 3, did not indicate any plea and
have been granted conditional bail.
The SFO has already charged three men as part of its Libor
investigation, including Tom Hayes, a former yen derivatives
trader at UBS and Citigroup, who pleaded not
guilty in December.
Hayes is due to stand trial in January 2015 on eight charges
of conspiring with staff from at least 10 major banks and
brokerages to manipulate yen Libor rates between 2006 and 2010.
Terry Farr and James Gilmour, two brokers from RP Martin,
have been charged and pleaded not guilty to similar
fraud-related offences. Their trial has been scheduled for
September 2015, in part to allow the SFO time to bring charges
against further alleged co-conspirators.
(Editing by David Goodman)