12 Aug 2019
The UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has added fraud charges to its case against three former Barclays executives accused of directing hundreds of millions of pounds to Qatar in return for financing from the Gulf state, according to the Financial Times and Bloomberg.
The new charges target Roger Jenkins, who formerly headed the bank’s Middle East operations, Tom Kalaris, who ran its wealth division, and Richard Boath, who previously served as the European head of its Financial Institutions division, according to the news outlets. All three have denied wrongdoing and are expected to face a trial in October.
The SFO has accused the former bankers of failing to disclose £322 million in deals Barclays made with Qatari investors as part of an effort to secure £4 billion-worth of investments. Along with other fundraising, the Qatari money helped Barclays stave off nationalization by the UK government following the 2008 financial collapse.
The new charges of “substantive fraud” could make it more likely that a jury convicts one or more of the defendants, even if it jurors decide that the SFO has failed to prove that all three were part of a conspiracy to defraud, the Financial Times said.
A trial judge acquitted former Barclays CEO John Varley in April on the basis that the SFO did not have sufficient evidence against him. His acquittal was upheld in June by the Court of Appeal, the FT said.
If convicted following the October trial, the three men could face up to 10 years in prison, Bloomberg said.
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