A former Rabobank Groep trader pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge in an alleged scheme to manipulate a benchmark interest rate, the U.S. said.
Takayuki Yagami, a former Japanese yen derivatives trader for the Dutch bank, entered a plea today in Manhattan federal court to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud, the Justice Department said. Yagami was charged as part of a U.S. probe into alleged manipulation of benchmark rates, including the London interbank offered rate.
Under an agreement with the U.S., Rabobank agreed to pay a $325 million penalty to resolve a probe into allegations of rigging Libor, a benchmark interest rate for more than $360 trillion of securities. Yagami admitted to conspiring with three other former Rabobank employees, who were charged with conspiracy and fraud in January.
“With this guilty plea, we take another significant step to hold accountable those who fraudulently manipulated the world’s cornerstone benchmark interest rate for financial gain,” U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement.
Libor serves as a benchmark for interest rates globally, including those specified in contracts as well as for mortgages, credit cards, student loans and other consumer lending products.
Lynne Burns, a New York-based spokeswoman for Rabobank, didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment.
The case in which the the other former Rabobank employees are charged is U.S. v. Robson, 1:14-cr-00272, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).