Paul Hastings Secures Complete Appellate Victory Reversing LIBOR Related Criminal Charges

January 27, 2022

New YorkPaul Hastings LLP, a leading global law firm, announced today that the firm secured a Second Circuit appellate victory for its client, Matthew Connolly, the former supervisor of the Money Market Desk at Deutsche Bank. The Second Circuit ruled in favor of Mr. Connolly and his co-defendant, Gavin Black, reversing the 2018 convictions of wire fraud and conspiracy for their roles in allegedly manipulating the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) to benefit Deutsche Bank’s derivatives trading positions and directing judgments of acquittal. In its unanimous opinion, the Court ruled in favor of the defendants’ argument that the evidence was insufficient to show that the LIBOR-related statements that they induced were false.

“We have been pointed to no evidence suggesting, much less proving beyond a reasonable doubt, that the [] LIBOR submissions underlying Connolly’s wire fraud convictions were false… [T]he government’s failure to prove that the Libor submissions did not comply with the BBA Libor Instruction and were false or misleading means it failed to prove conduct that was within the scope of the statute prohibiting wire fraud schemes,” the judges wrote.

Matthew Connolly was the first American charged in connection with the U.S. Department of Justice’s wide-ranging LIBOR investigation. Following a split jury verdict, Connolly had received a favorable sentence of supervised release and home confinement, with then SDNY Chief District Court Judge McMahon accepting Paul Hastings argument for a sentencing departure well below the DOJ’s request, with the Court recognizing that Mr. Connolly was “the least culpable person” in the case. It is now clear that Mr. Connolly was not “culpable” at all.

“We are elated that Matt Connolly has been fully exonerated in this contrived case that never should have been brought,” said Kenneth Breen, partner, Paul Hastings LLP.

Paul Hastings represented Matthew Connolly at trial and on appeal. The Paul Hastings team was led by Partners Ken Breen and Phara Guberman, and included associates Amanda Pober and Rita Fishman, along with other Paul Hastings attorneys at various stages of this case.

At Paul Hastings, our purpose is clear — to help our clients and people navigate new paths to growth. With a strong presence throughout Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the U.S., Paul Hastings is recognized as one of the world’s most innovative global law firms

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