September 8, 2015 / 2:04 PM / 4 years ago

MOVES-Key U.S. official in Libor probe joins law firm - source

NEW YORK, Sept 8 (Reuters) - William Stellmach, a U.S. Justice Department official who played a leading role in the Libor manipulation investigation, has joined the law firm of Willkie Farr & Gallagher, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Stellmach, 42, worked in the Justice Department’s criminal fraud section for five years, rising to acting chief last year before Andrew Weissman was named to the post.

A spokesman for the Justice Department confirmed Stellmach’s departure, but did not comment on where he was going. Stellmach’s last day at the Justice Department was Friday, he said.

A Harvard-trained lawyer, Stellmach starts on Tuesday in Willkie’s white collar defense practice, the source said. The person did not want to be identified because the move is expected to be announced later Tuesday.

A spokeswoman for the firm did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

During his tenure, Stellmach was a key player in the probe of the rigging of the London interbank offered rate (Libor) that resulted in hefty penalties and agreements with banks including UBS AG, Royal Bank of Scotland Plc and Rabobank.

Stellmach charged the first individual defendants, according to the Justice Department. Authorities found bank employees submitted false rates to benefit trading positions.

Libor, the rate that banks charge one another for short-term loans, affects rates on everything from student loans to credit cards to adjustable-rate mortgages.

Stellmach also helped supervise cases involving violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, including the case against the French power company Alstom SA over bribes to government officials and falsifying books and records.

In 2012, he was co-lead counsel in the trial against Robert Allen Stanford for his role in a $8 billion Ponzi scheme.

Before joining the Justice Department’s fraud section, Stellmach was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Manhattan and worked in the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s New York office. (Editing by Dan Wilchins and Jeffrey Benkoe)

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