On Thursday, the 7th of March 2019, a criminal court in London heard that the UK’s SFO (Serious Fraud Office) had botched to take “appropriate and reasonable” attempts to get critical documents from Qatar’s US lawyers, which apparently would become key evidences, before a fraud trial of four high-profile former Barclays employees.
Before the beginning of the breakthrough court case against former Barclays CEO John Varley, alongside his former senior colleagues, such as Richard Boath, Roger Jenkins and Tom Kalaris, the jury was being told about the SFO’s failure to obtain critical document from Latham & Watkins.
The origin of the landmark case dated back to 2008, when the men on trial had raised over 11 million pounds from the investors including Qatar to off-board a state bailout during the June and October of 2008 at the wake of credit crisis.
However, the former Barclays employees were charged with fraud on side deals while revamping bank credits during the age of financial crisis between 2008 and 2009. Prosecutors had criminally charged the former Barclays employees of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation, misleading the shareholders and other investors without disclosing a side deal worth of 322 million pounds to Qatar through advisory service agreements had not been not genuine.
However, all four former Barclays employees denied any wrongdoing and said that they had been relying on legal advice at that time of financial turbulence, according to the court document shown during the proceedings.