• Cryan lawyer calls prosecution case `a load of old chat'
  • Lawyer calls Hayes a `numbers nerd' with a `god complex'

For 10 months in 2009, Noel Cryan took tens of thousands of pounds in payments from Tom Hayes to rig Libor. According to his lawyer, he never actually did anything.

Cryan, 50, a former employee of Tullett Prebon Plc, is one of six interdealer brokers accused of helping Hayes manipulate the benchmark interest rate. Cryan admits taking the money, but claims he didn’t once ask his colleagues on the Tullett cash desk to get banks to change their Libor submissions.

"There is absolutely no evidence at all that he ever did what he told Hayes he would do," Peter Finnigan, Cryan’s lawyer, said in his closing speech in London Wednesday. He described the prosecution’s case -- based heavily on online instant messages -- as based on nothing more than "a load of old chat."

Hayes, who worked in Tokyo, attempted to recruit Cryan to his scheme in February 2009, promising it would "come back to him in spades." He was already paying contacts at ICAP Plc and RP Martin Holdings Ltd. for their assistance in manipulating the London interbank offered rate, according to prosecutors.

A former trader at UBS Group AG and Citigroup Inc., Hayes was convicted of rigging Libor last year. A 14-year sentence for conspiracy to defraud was reduced to 11 years by an appeals court last month.

Numbers Nerd

Over a period of months Cryan told Hayes he would help or had helped him more than 50 times. That was nothing but a ruse, Finnigan said, that was successful because Hayes was a “numbers nerd” with "a god complex" who believed what he wanted to hear.

The Serious Fraud Office was so "dazzled" by the prospect of securing a prosecution that it had "failed to do its job: to investigate the matter impartially," Finnigan said.

The fate of Cryan and his five co-defendants will be decided in the coming days when the jury is sent away to deliberate following a three-month trial.

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