We Meet Again: The Two Ex-Barclays Traders Acquitted at RetrialBy and
Two ex-traders at the British bank cleared of Libor rigging
The case was a retrial after a jury failed to reach a decision
Two former Barclays Plc Libor traders were acquitted following a retrial in a London court of manipulating the interest-rate benchmark following a trial that started in February. A different jury couldn’t reach a decision last year.
The case ends another chapter in the global investigation that has cost firms about $9 billion in fines.
Meet the men behind the headlines.
London swaps desk
Verdict: Not Guilty
Contogoulas, a Greek national, worked as a computer engineer for five years before moving into financial services. He was offered a job at Barclays in London in 2001 over a pizza with senior executive Harry Harrison following an intern program designed to help the bank hire more MBA graduates. He only started trading in 2005 when he was put on the dollar desk.
Contogoulas didn’t testify at the retrial, but his lawyers argued he only ever acted under orders from bosses and he never knew there was a problem with making rate requests to colleagues. The Serious Fraud Office has suffered from "tunnel vision," in its pursuit of Contogoulas, they argued. Married with a wife and two daughters, his family was in London during the case.
He now works for ForexAnalytix, which provides market analysis and trains novice traders. A profile on the site says he loves playing snooker, poker and windsurfing.
New York swaps desk
Verdict: Not Guilty
Reich joined Barclays as a 24-year-old junior swaps trader in New York after starting his career at Citigroup Inc. Over 6-feet-tall with a shaved head Reich, born on the "Jersey Shore," was on the baseball team at Princeton University. His college coach flew to London to testify as a character witness at both trials.
Reich told the jury last month that a Barclays human resources manager known as “Dr. Death" delivered the final blow to his career months after he’d "freaked" out following interviews with the bank’s lawyers over Libor. He said he had "no interest in trafficking anywhere near some sort of line" and thought making Libor requests was completely fine at the time.
"You are attempting to apply an increased level of scrutiny to something which never got this level of thought, is what I’m trying to articulate," Reich told prosecutor Emma Deacon during an often fractious exchange over a number of days.