Tom Hayes – conviction stands, but a reduced sentence for LIBOR cheat

    Tom Hayes – conviction stands, but a reduced sentence for LIBOR cheat

    Photo from Bloomberg Business

    We covered the sentencing of Tom Hayes, the former UBS trader who was convicted of fraud and sentenced to 14 years for his role in the LIBOR rigging scandal.

    In relation to the sentence, we said that “Will there be an appeal? Probably. The sentence is a huge one, even given the general increases in sentences in recent years, and the even larger increase in fraud sentencing … But this was a ‘keynote’ prosecution, and involved offending in a different league even to a high value fraud, so we doubt that he will get very far“.

    How did we get on?

    On 21st December 2015 the Court of Appeal gave judgment in relation to Mr Hayes appeal against conviction and sentence.

    The part dealing with sentence is at the end (paras 88-109). In the end, we were unduly pessimistic, the Court concluding (para 107) :”The judge approached his decision on sentence with great care and correctly identified all the relevant factors. The culpability was high and the harm serious. A deterrent element was plainly required. However, we are of the view that taking into account all the circumstances (in particular his age, his non-managerial position in the two banks, and his mild Asperger’s condition), that the overall sentence was longer than was necessary to punish the appellant and to deter others” .

    And with that, they reduced his sentence to 11 years.

    It is worth a read in full (and the conviction appeal is also worth a look), but it is unlikely to be of wider application to other frauds. This was fraud on a huge scale.

    Dan is a barrister at 2 Dr. Johnson’s Buildings practising in crime.


    1. Still a pretty huge sentence. 11 years, meaning 5.5 behind bars…jeez, poor guy. Is “keynote” prosecution the diplomatic word for “scapegoat”?