U.S. Prosecutors Move to Drop Libor Case Against ex-SocGen Bankers

ex-SocGen Bankers

U.S. criminal charges should be dropped against two former Societe Generale SA bankers for allegedly trying to rig the London interbank offered rate, prosecutors told a New York court on Wednesday.

Muriel Bescond, a former head of Societe Generale SA’s Treasury desk in Paris, and her boss Danielle Sindzingre, who was SocGen’s global head of treasury, were charged in 2017 with preparing inaccurate Libor submissions in 2010 and 2011.

U.S. Attorney Breon Peace did not give reasons in the motion asking a judge in New York state’s Long Island to dismiss the case.

Bescond’s attorney Laurence Shtasel said “she looks forward to being relieved of this burden and moving forward with her professional life.”

Peace’s spokesperson declined to comment. A spokesman for the Department of Justice’s Washington-based Fraud Section, which led the Libor prosecutions, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

An attorney representing Sindzingre did not reply to a similar request.

The move by prosecutors comes after court rulings undermined several cases alleging traders at the world’s largest financial institutions rigged the lending benchmark, which was phased out last year.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in 2021 that Bescond could fight the charges from France, rather than travel to the United States.

The same appeals court reversed the convictions of two Deutsche Bank AG traders last year and two London-based Rabobank traders in 2017.

Two Deutsche Bank traders who cooperated with prosecutors had their guilty pleas reversed by judges last August, and traders from other banks are seeking to do the same.

Libor-rigging investigations resulted in about $9 billion of fines worldwide for banks. SocGen agreed in June 2018 to pay $750 million of fines to settle U.S. criminal and civil Libor-rigging charges.

The case is U.S. v. Sindzingre et al., U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, No. 17-00464.


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