Ex-Deutsche Bank Trader Arrested in Italy in Euribor Probe

(Bloomberg) -- Former Deutsche Bank AG trader Andreas Hauschild has been arrested in Italy and may be extradited to the U.K. to face charges that he helped rig a key interest rate benchmark, the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office said.

He’s being held after a trip to the country activated a European arrest warrant issued by the SFO. He was charged in the U.K. in 2015 with 10 other traders from around the world, but escaped trial in the U.K. because Germany rejected an extradition request.

“We confirm Andreas Hauschild was arrested on a European arrest warrant last month in Italy. An extradition hearing is due to take place in Milan next month,” a spokeswoman for the SFO said Friday.

Hauschild’s German defense attorney, Eren Basar, is out and will return Monday, his law office said. Officials at Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank declined to immediately comment. A call to Hauschild’s mobile phone wasn’t immediately answered.

The 54-year-old was one of four former German traders who didn’t take part in a Euribor trial earlier this year after the SFO lost the extradition bid. A Frankfurt court in March ruled the alleged crimes had taken place too long ago to be tried.

Two other traders were convicted in the Euribor case, while a jury was unable to reach a verdict on three Barclays Plc traders. One Deutsche Bank manager was cleared by the jury. They were accused of working together to fix the euro interbank offered rate, the interest rate benchmark behind trillions of dollars worth of securities.

Hauschild, however, was only safe as long as he stayed in Germany as the Frankfurt ruling isn’t valid outside the country.

His case echoes that of Oliver Schmidt, the former Volkswagen AG manager who was arrested in Miami in January 2017 after leaving his home country -- where he would’ve been safe from extradition -- despite warnings from the company and several lawyers. Schmidt was later sentenced to a seven-year term he’s currently serving in Michigan.

Hauschild was part of Deutsche Bank’s trading pool in Frankfurt, though, after 16 years, he left the lender to become Commerzbank AG’s global head of risk in 2006. While working as a banker, Hauschild earned several business degrees and was this year studying for an executive MBA at the Frankfurt School of Finance.

The European arrest warrant -- an agreement that facilitates extradition between European countries, and enabled Hauschild’s arrest -- faces an uncertain future in the U.K. after the country leaves the European Union in March 2019. The departure may not automatically invalidate the existing warrant against Hauschild, but U.K. police said this week they may need to revert to older and more bureaucratic systems after Brexit.

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