Libor-Rigging Trial Starts in U.S. for Ex-Deutsche Bank Traders

(Bloomberg) -- Two former Deutsche Bank AG traders are defending themselves in a New York court this week against charges they conspired to manipulate Libor, a benchmark for interest rates, more than seven years after the start of a global crackdown on the practice.

Jury selection began Monday in the trial of Matthew Connolly, 48, who supervised trading of U.S. dollar Libor-based derivatives from New York, and Gavin C. Black, 53, who was on the money-market derivatives desk in London.

The two men are among dozens charged by the U.S. and the U.K. with manipulating the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, a daily estimate of borrowing costs among the world’s biggest banks that is used to value trillions of dollars of financial products.

In the U.K., the Serious Fraud Office has had mixed results in pursuing Libor cases, including more than half a dozen convictions. Deutsche Bank and Barclays Bank Plc are among the companies that agreed to pay more than $9 billion in fines related to rate-rigging allegations.

The New York trial, which is expected to last three weeks, is the second such case in the U.S. Two former Rabobank Groep NV traders were found guilty in 2015 in New York, but their convictions were thrown out last year when an appeals court ruled that their forced testimony to a U.K. regulator was used improperly.

The government has said it intends to call as witnesses the defendants’ co-conspirators at Deutsche Bank. Among them are Michael Curtler, a former derivatives trader and manager of the London money-market derivatives desk, and Timothy Parietti, a former managing director of the money-market derivatives desk in Manhattan. Curtler and Parietti have pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.

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