Jail time for ex-bankers
After a three-month trial at Southwark Crown Court in London, England, four former Barclays bankers have been handed down lengthy jail sentences for conspiring to fraudulently rig global benchmark interest rates between 2005 and 2007.
The convictions represent a significant triumph for the British Serious Fraud Office (SFO), which has been pursuing investigations into the Libor scandal for several years but has enjoyed only one other successful prosecution to six acquittals. Two further Libor-fixing cases by other former Barclays bankers are currently under investigation.
Panama is only part of the story
In the wake of the publication of the Panama Papers – the largest leak of offshore interests in history – one of the surprises is how few US citizens have been exposed. But rather than revealing a higher national sense of obligation towards tax payments, it’s more likely that it’s because creating a shell company in the United States is a simpler option for many than stashing assets overseas.
Only around 200 accounts with US addresses have shown up as Mossack Fonseca clients, which compared to countries such as Russia, China and Switzerland is relatively small. This could be due to a system that makes it easier to create a way of hiding money and masking identity on-shore, rather than trusting it to traditional tax havens such as Belize, Panama or Luxembourg.
The first to fall
The seven-year investigation of the rate-rigging scandal that caused global outrage has resulted in its inaugural conviction. A jail sentence of 14 years has been handed down to former City trader Tom Hayes after becoming the first to be found guilty by a jury of rigging the Libor interest rate.
Escape to the country
If you’re on the FBI’s most wanted list, what’s the best place to lay low? Turns out the Appalachian Trail is the perfect spot if you’re keen to evade the strong arm of the law, as it emerges that multi-million-dollar embezzler James T Hammes eluded capture for six years by posing as a hiker.
Hammes had been on the run since 2009 for allegedly embezzling more than $8.7m from a Pepsi bottling plant in Kentucky. He was apprehended earlier this month in Virginia and is expected to return to Ohio to face charges.