One of the largest multinational investment banks in the world, Barclays, has come under the spotlight with three of its former executives currently facing a trial for fraudulent activities during their tenure in 2008. They have been charged with illegal fundraising in Qatar and are subpoenaed on Monday for trial.
Currently, three ex-officials of Barclays are under scrutiny namely Mr. Jenkins (64), who served as investment banking chairperson for the Middle East, Mr. Boath (60), who was in charge of European corporate finance branch, and Mr. Kalaris (63), the chief of wealth division.
Barclays Ex-Chief Executive Acquitted Of The Charges
The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has charged these former executives with illegal (undisclosed) fundraising in Qatar that derived Barclays out of a financial crisis. While Mr. John Varley, the ex-chief executive of Barclays was also initially under investigation, as of June 2019, he has been exonerated by the court. The court has also dismissed all criminal proceedings that SFO had initially undertaken against the bank itself.
Three of the former executives are, however, still under trial with all of them standing firm and pleading “not guilty”.
SFO’s Stance On The Case
The SFO has made a claim that on two different occasions, June and October of the year 2008, the trio cut a deal with Qatar and made secret payments to illegally raise funds via investors amounting to as much as over $13 billion. Another prominent name that was highlighted as a part of the deal was Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr al-Thani, who served as the Prime Minister of Qatar at the time. The SFO has reported that there is no record of such payments’ disclosure to the market.
The funds acquired via this alleged fraud rescued Barclays from a potential government bailout. SFO has charged Mr. Jenkins for his involvement in both the June and October episodes of illegal fundraising while the other former executives are only charged for their involvement in the June instance.
The trio was charged with false representation fraud in the year 2017. SFO had spent years for a thorough investigation before the allegations were finally made. The Senior Fraud Office has previously been under criticism for its failure to investigate the individuals as well as the businesses at large that contributed to the financial crisis. This has made the Barclays case a high-stake one for SFO.
The selection for the jury is expected to begin on Monday, October 7th 2019, with anticipation of the case lasting for at least a few months.
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