ICAP Brokers Ran Four-Year Libor Con on Tom Hayes, Read Says

  • Darrell Read tells jurors `we couldn't' influence Libor
  • Read testifies for fourth day at London criminal trial

Brokers at ICAP Plc ran an elaborate, four-year con on Tom Hayes, tricking the former UBS Group AG trader into believing they were helping him rig Libor, a former employee accused of conspiring with Hayes told London jurors.

Darrell Read, who was employed by ICAP and its predecessor for more than 20 years, said during a fourth day of testimony that he routinely lied to Hayes, his only client, about his ability to influence the benchmark.

Darrell Read

Photographer: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg

"We worked very hard to build the impression" that "we could influence Libor," Read said. "We couldn’t."

The 50-year-old Read is one of six brokers from ICAP, Tullett Prebon Plc and RP Martin Holdings Ltd. on trial over charges they helped Hayes rig a version of the London interbank offered rate tied to the yen. Hayes was convicted of similar charges in August and sentenced to 14 years in prison.

Read, the first of the defendants to testify, is accused of helping Hayes rig Libor from 2006 through 2010 by leaning on colleague Colin Goodman, another defendant in the case, to skew a daily "Libor prediction e-mail" he sent to rate-setting banks each day.

Prosecutors took jurors through dozens of e-mails and instant messages sent by Hayes to Read asking for specific moves, and from Read to Goodman, who was known as "Lord Libor," which they said show Read trying to manipulate the rate to suit Hayes.

"Can u please get 3mos and 6mos as high as is possible today please," Read wrote in one Oct. 20, 2006, e-mail to Goodman. "Will sort you out a curry takeaway next week in recognition of your efforts."

Read said he was merely passing on information to help Goodman make his predictions as accurate as possible. The curry, Read added, was not a bribe, but related to Goodman’s help providing information to the desk.

One e-mail from Read to Goodman was titled "morning begging e-mail!!!!" He started another: "On the scrounge again." From 2007, he started texting Goodman with what prosecutors described as requests. Read said that was how the desk passed on information, and the ruse was known about by several of his colleagues.

Some banks, like WestLB AG, blindly followed Goodman’s predictions for weeks at a time, prosecutors said. Read said he was unaware of that and didn’t believe the prediction e-mail had any bearing on rate submissions.

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