Tom Hayes Loses Appeal on Sale of $2.3 Million Family Home

(Bloomberg) -- Tom Hayes, the former UBS Group AG and Citigroup Inc. trader jailed for 11 years over Libor rigging, lost an appeal against a confiscation order that forced his wife to sell their 1.6 million-pound ($2.3 million) family home.

The Court of Appeal said that Hayes had paid for the seven-bedroom family home on his own. Despite his transfer of his half share of the Old Rectory to his wife, Sarah Tighe, the judges ruled Wednesday in London that it was legitimate to use the house to fund the 880,000 pounds he had to pay after his conviction for rigging a key interest rate.

“If it were right, the sophisticated criminal would be astute to apply the proceeds of his criminality -- or, indeed, other assets -- into the purchase of matrimonial property in joint names,” Judge Nigel Davis said in the ruling. “Ms. Tighe made no financial contributions at all, directly or indirectly, towards the purchase. Their marriage for around a year, and Joshua’s birth in October 2011, cannot of itself involve consideration of value.”

Hayes and Tighe said they were disappointed by the result.

“This is unfair on Sarah and my 6 year-old-son,” Hayes said in an emailed statement. “I will now consider options for a further appeal.” The law permitting the confiscation “is punitive and draconian and can leave innocent children homeless.”

Tighe said she was “disappointed that my contribution to our marriage has not been recognized” and that she will be discussing the issue with the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Hayes was ordered to pay the funds in March 2016 after he became the first person convicted for rigging the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, in 2015. He was initially sentenced to 14 years in prison, reduced to 11 years on appeal. Libor is a key interest-rate benchmark pegged to trillions of dollars of securities that became the subject of a global scandal after it emerged traders had been manipulating the rate for their own benefit.

The Old Rectory was sold in October 2016, Davis said. A lawyer for the Serious Fraud Office, which prosecuted Hayes, had argued that there is no doubt that all the funds came from the Hayes, and that the home was therefore a "tainted gift."

Hayes’ lawyer had argued that Tighe’s 50-percent contribution to the household came by virtue of her running the home and raising their son, something Davis described as "simply an assertion."

Davis said there was no objective way of measuring Tighe’s contribution in monetary terms.

Hayes’s case is being reviewed by the Criminal Cases Review Commission -- an organization set up to investigate suspected miscarriages of justice -- after he exhausted all appeals over his conviction. He has raised about 92,600 pounds through crowdfunding for the appeal, according to his Fundrazr webpage.

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