Ex-Deutsche Bank Trader Pleads Guilty in U.S. Libor Case

  • Michael Curtler admits to conspiring to rig interest rates
  • Curtler is first Deutsche Bank trader charged in U.S. probe

Michael Curtler, a former senior trader at Deutsche Bank AG, admitted to conspiring to manipulate benchmark interest rates as the U.S. investigation into the rigging of Libor spreads to bankers at the German lender for the first time.

The U.S. Justice Department and other agencies have already won a $2.5 billion settlement with Deutsche Bank over the manipulation of the London interbank offered rate. The Justice Department is now pressing to hold individual bankers accountable.

Curtler, 43, a U.K. citizen who worked on Deutsche Bank’s U.S. dollar cash desk, pleaded guilty Thursday in Manhattan federal court to a charge of conspiring to commit wire and bank fraud in connection with the Libor-rigging scheme. He’s scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 19 and faces a maximum prison term of 30 years.

Curtler is the 13th person charged in the U.S., and the first from Frankfurt-based Deutsche Bank.

David Krakoff of BuckleySandler LLP, who represents Curtler, didn’t immediately respond to a phone request for comment.

Twelve banks have paid about $9 billion in penalties in relation to interest-rate rigging over the last three years. More than 20 traders have been charged in the U.K. and the U.S. with the first trial in London resulting in a conviction and 14-year sentence for former UBS trader Tom Hayes.

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