Former UBS and Citigroup trader Tom Hayes has been ordered to repay £878,806 ($1.2m, €1.1m) from his ill-gotten gains. Last year, Hayes became the first person to be tried and convicted on criminal charges for manipulating the Libor rate in Britain. He was sentenced to 11 years behind bars.
The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) was seeking £2.45m that the trader received in bonuses while he was rigging the global benchmark interest rate at which banks lend to one another. Nonetheless, the SFO called the ruling a "substantial confiscation order." Immediately after the decision, Hayes issued a statement reiterating his innocence.
Mark Thompson, head of the SFO's Proceeds of Crime Division said: "The court acknowledged the challenges of quantifying the benefit from crime in this case." He added: "The outcome is a substantial confiscation order, which Mr Hayes will need to satisfy or face a further period of imprisonment."
Judge Jeremy Cooke has given Hayes three months to make the payment, or risk spending a further three years in prison. "I am satisfied that the defendant is unable to pay the full amount immediately and therefore order that whatever cannot be paid immediately to be paid within 3 months," said Cooke.
A number of assets that can be used to pay off the order have been identified. These include a £1.7m seven-bedroom Surrey home – known as the Old Rectory, £32,280 in a bank account, a £4,000 Rolex Daytona watch, a Mercedes car valued at nearly £13,000 and a £8,899 engagement ring which he gave to his wife, Sarah Tighe.
Cooke ruled that Hayes should return 35% of the £2.5m he racked up in bonuses from the two banking giants between 2006 and 2010. He added that no matter how good a market maker Hayes was, his "reputation was significantly enhanced by the trading he carried out on his own account where it was his practice to attempt to manipulate Libor rates."
In a statement, Hayes reasserted his innocence. He said: "The Serious Fraud Office has not named a single victim, nor has it proved any losses or gains. Furthermore, the Serious Fraud Office has repeatedly denied me access to both the profit and loss data for my trading book and other market data. I have been refused access to the very information that could have exonerated me before my jury."
Libor – or the London interbank offered rate – is one of the most important interest rates in the financial world and is used to set the price of financial products to the tune of trillions of pounds.