Interest Rate Manipulation Scheme: French Bank Managers Charged
Scheme to transmit false and misleading information related to the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) two French bank managers were indicted today for planning and participating, a global benchmark interest rate to which trillions of dollars of financial transactions are tied.
An official statement made by Bridget M. Rohde acting United States Attorney of the Eastern District of New York, General Kenneth A. Blanco acting Assistant Attorney of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, and Andrew Vale assistant Director-in-Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Washington Field Office.
Acting United States Attorney Rohde stated “The integrity of our global financial markets relies upon each of its participants providing complete and accurate information”. “As alleged, the defendants acted in contravention of this principle and the laws designed to uphold it by causing their employer, Société Générale, to submit falsified USD LIBOR rates, which in turn effected financial transactions across markets worldwide. We will continue to vigorously root out and prosecute such crimes.”
Acting Assistant Attorney General Blanco said: “The allegations in today’s indictment suggest complete and total disregard for the integrity of the financial markets and for innocent consumers and everyday people whose personal finances hinge on the interest rates they pay on various loans. Cases like this demonstrate the crucial role of the Department in protecting people and their hard earned money, securing our financial markets for economic growth and prosperity, and for fighting white collar crime to protect our nation from bad actors, wherever they may reside.”
Assistant Director in Charge Vale said in a statement that “Fraudulently manipulating the LIBOR and deceiving the financial market to affect world-wide financial transactions have far reaching consequences, and such criminal activity will not be tolerated”. “Today’s indictment should stand as a warning that the FBI remains committed to holding those accountable who flout the law in their attempts to take advantage of international financial markets. The FBI Washington Field Office has dedicated significant time and resources, to include the expertise of special agents, forensic accountants and analysts, to investigating these complex financial schemes, and I want to thank the tireless investigative team as well as our colleagues at the Department of Justice Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York for their hard work.”
Muriel Bescond and Danielle Sindzingre French citizens were charged in the Eastern District of New York with one count of conspiring to transmit false reports concerning market information that tends to affect a commodity and four counts of transmitting such false reports. Sindzingre and Bescond were, respectively, the global head of treasury and the head of the Paris treasury desk at French financial institution Société Générale, S.A.