As expected, U.S. and U.K. authorities announced yesterday that they will fine brokerage firm ICAP $87 million for its role in manipulating benchmark interest rates—specifically, the London interbank offered rate (LIBOR). As part of the agreement, ICAP will pay the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission $65 million and the U.K.'s Financial Conduct Authority £14 million ($22 million).
And, in line with previous reports, the Department of Justice (DOJ) yesterday also announced that it is charging three former ICAP brokers, claiming they engaged in criminal fraud related to the LIBOR scandal.
The DOJ charged Darrell Reed, Daniel Wilkinson and Colin Goodman with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and two counts of wire fraud. They each face a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison.
“By allegedly participating in a scheme to manipulate benchmark interest rates for financial gain, these defendants undermined the integrity of the global markets,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement. “They were supposed to be honest brokers, but instead, they put their own financial interests ahead of that larger responsibility. And as a result, transactions and financial products around the world were compromised, because they were tied to a rate that was distorted due to the brokers’ dishonesty. These charges underscore the Justice Department’s determination to hold accountable all those whose conduct threatens the integrity of our financial markets.”
ICAP’s CEO Michael Spencer said he’s regretful of his former employees’ actions. "I deeply regret and strongly condemn the inexcusable actions of the brokers," he said on a conference call with reporters Wednesday. "They have tainted the reputation of ICAP and the financial markets as a whole."
The charges against Reed, Wilkinson and Goodman make a total of five people in the U.S. criminally charged in the LIBOR scandal. But as authorities continue to investigate the scheme, more charges against individuals are expected.
Read more about this story on the Wall Street Journal.