A financial market trader’s conviction has today [12 October 2023] been referred to the Court of Appeal by the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC).
Carlo Palombo was found guilty of conspiracy to defraud by rigging the ‘EURIBOR’ (‘Euro Interbank Offered Rate’) benchmark interest rate between 1 January 2005 and 31 December 2009.
He was convicted of conspiracy to defraud in March 2019 at Southwark Crown Court and sentenced to four years’ imprisonment.
Mr Palombo applied to the CCRC in July 2023, the same day that it was announced the CCRC was referring for appeal a similar conviction relating to ‘LIBOR’ (the London Interbank Offered Rate).
A US Court judgment on LIBOR in January 2022 saw the convictions of two other former traders convicted in similar circumstances, quashed.
The CCRC has concluded that there is a real possibility that the Court of Appeal will follow the legal approach taken by the US Court and overturn Mr Palombo’s conviction.
CCRC Chairman Helen Pitcher OBE said:
“Earlier this year we concluded that there was a real possibility that the Court of Appeal would overturn the conviction of Tom Hayes in light of the legal approach to the definition and operation of the LIBOR rules taken by the US Court of Appeal in January 2022.
“The CCRC recognised that Mr Palombo’s case was not dissimilar to Mr Hayes’ case.
“Following on from the Hayes referral and bearing in mind the similarity of issues we have concluded that the Court of Appeal will consider the EURIBOR rules in the same way, reasoning by close analogy with the US Court decision.”
This press release was issued by the Communications Team, Criminal Cases Review Commission. Tel: 0121 232 0900, email: email@example.com.
Notes to Editors
- The CCRC is an independent body set up under the Criminal Appeal Act 1995. It is responsible for independently reviewing suspected and alleged miscarriages of criminal justice in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It is based in Birmingham and is funded by the Ministry of Justice.
- There are currently 11 Commissioners who bring to the CCRC considerable experience from a wide variety of backgrounds. Commissioners are appointed by the monarch on the recommendation of the Prime Minister in accordance with the Office for the Commissioner for Public Appointments’ Code of Practice.
- The CCRC usually receives around 1,400 applications for reviews (convictions and/or sentences) each year. Since starting work in 1997, the CCRC has referred around 3% of applications to the appeal courts.
- The CCRC considers whether, as a result of new evidence or argument, there is a real possibility that the conviction would not be upheld were a reference to be made. New evidence or argument is argument or evidence which has not been raised during the trial or on appeal. Applicants should usually have appealed first. A case can be referred in the absence of new evidence or argument or an earlier appeal only if there are “exceptional circumstances”.
- If a case is referred, it is then for the appeal court to decide whether the conviction is unsafe or the sentence unfair.
- The London Inter-Bank Offered Rate (LIBOR) is an interest rate average calculated from estimates submitted by leading banks in London. Each bank estimates what it would be charged were it to borrow from other banks. It is a primary benchmark for short-term interest rates around the world.
- The EURIBOR Code of Conduct 1999 states that EURIBOR panel banks are required to submit “to the best of their knowledge… the rates at which euro interbank term deposits [were] being offered within the EMU zone by one prime bank to another at 11.00 a.m. (Brussels time)”
- More details about the role and work of the Criminal Cases Review Commission can be found at www.ccrc.gov.uk. The CCRC can be found on Twitter @ccrcupdate and Instagram the_ccrc
- The CCRC does not publicise operational detail about investigations and is bound by legal limitations on what we can share publicly from our case reviews (see section 23 of Criminal Appeal Act 1995).
- The US Court judgment in January 2022 that overturned the convictions of two other former traders who had been convicted in respect of alleged benchmark manipulation was USA vs Connolly and Black.