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The Current State of the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office

Tom Fox | August 12, 2015

Last week the U.K. Serious Fraud Office (SFO) received some rare, yet good news when the jury convicted former UBS trader Tom Hayes for criminal conduct for his role in the manipulation of LIBOR. The unanimous jury verdict was followed by an equally dramatic 14-year prison sentence handed down by the trial judge. This sentence was one of the harshest penalties against a banker since the financial crisis and it was the first criminal conviction of an individual for manipulation of  LIBOR on either side of the Atlantic.

Barrry Vitou, a partner at PinsetMasons in London and a co-founder of the widely read U.K. Bribery Act blog site, thebriberyact.com said that the trial court victory, significantly increased the SFO’s viability and to paraphrase Mark Twain, reports of the SFO’s demise were greatly exaggerated. Vitou said, “The narrative needs to shift now, not to talk of shutting [the SFO] down, but to talk of entrenching its position. The Tom Hayes guilty verdict has global...

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