* Tom Hayes plea hearing provisionally set for week of Oct.
* Prosecutors to serve evidence by Sept. 30 at latest
By Kirstin Ridley and Sebastian Sadr-Salek
LONDON, July 4 British prosecutors say they have
extensive evidence against former trader Tom Hayes, the first
suspect to come to court following a global investigation into
the suspected rigging of interbank lending rates.
"To describe (the evidence) as voluminous would be rather an
understatement," Mukul Chawla, leading counsel for Britain's
Serious Fraud Office (SFO), told a preliminary court hearing on
Judge Anthony Leonard told lawyers representing the SFO to
serve their prosecution papers by Sept. 30 at the latest. Hayes,
a Briton charged last month with conspiracy to defraud, spoke
only to confirm his name. The former UBS and Citigroup
trader did not enter a plea.
Authorities have been interviewing a string of traders in
connection with a sprawling investigation into how crucial
benchmark rates such as Libor (London interbank offered rate),
against which trillions of dollars of loans are priced, were
However Hayes, who allegedly manipulated Libor benchmark
interest rates with staff from 10 leading banks and brokers over
four years, is the first suspect to be charged
by both UK and U.S. prosecutors and brought before a UK court in
a inquiry stretching from North America to Asia.
The next hearing at which the 33-year-old could submit a
plea - a so-called Plea and Case Management Hearing (PCMH) - has
been provisionally set for the week commencing Oct. 21. In the
interim, Hayes remains on bail.
The Libor scandal, which has sparked public and political
outrage and laid bare the failings of authorities and bank
bosses, has to date seen UK and U.S. regulators fine three banks
a total of $2.6 billion. Prosecutors and police have charged two
men, including Hayes.
Hayes joined Swiss bank UBS in Tokyo in 2006, becoming a
senior trader of interest-rate derivatives indexed to
yen-denominated Libor. In late 2009, he left UBS to join
Citigroup in Tokyo. He left the U.S. bank less than a year
Prosecutors allege that together with employees from
institutions including UBS, Citigroup, Royal Bank of Scotland
, Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan Chase, HSBC
, Rabobank and interdealer brokers ICAP, Tullett
Prebon and RP Martin, Hayes conspired to defraud.
Charges against him include conspiring with others "to
defraud in dishonestly seeking to manipulate yen London
interbank offered rates and other interbank offered rates ...
with the intention that the economic interests of others would
be prejudiced and/or to make personal gain for themselves or
The maximum UK sentence for conspiracy to defraud is 10