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Rabobank trader pleads guilty in Libor fixing case

A Japanese former trader at Rabobank pleaded guilty to charges of scheming to manipulate the key Libor interest rate for the yen.

WASHINGTON: A Japanese former trader at Rabobank pleaded guilty to charges on Tuesday of scheming to manipulate the key Libor interest rate for the yen.

The US Department of Justice said Takayuki Yagami, who was a yen derivatives trader for the Dutch bank, admitted guilt to one charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud in manipulating the benchmark yen London InterBank Offered Rate (Libor).

Yagami was the ninth person charged so far in the United States in the world-wide scandal over manipulating the Libor rate, which anchors millions of interest rate-sensitive contracts and loans around the world.

Investigators in Japan, Britain, the United States and elsewhere have been probing the manipulation of the rate by traders to benefit their own accounts and add to their banks' profits.

The department said Yagami admitted conspiring with three other Rabobank employees to artificially fix the rate. All were charged in an indictment released in late April.

"This was the ultimate inside job. As alleged, traders illegally influenced the very interest rate on which their trades were based, using fraud to gain an unfair advantage," said Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell.

Rabobank itself paid US$325 million to US authorities last year to resolve accusations against it in the Libor scandal.

In March, the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation sued Rabobank, HSBC, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank and 11 other global banking heavyweights for manipulation of the Libor rate.

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