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Russia: VTB Capital hires Ex-UBS banker convicted for bond rigging

 |  February 2, 2016

VTB Capital Plc, the investment banking unit of Russia’s second-biggest lender, hired Peter Ghavami, an ex-UBS Group AG banker who was convicted in the US for rigging municipal bond investment deals.

Ghavami, who is based in Moscow, will oversee the firm’s operations in Asia, according to people with knowledge of the role. Ghavami was sentenced to 18 months in prison in July 2013 for rigging what should have been competitive bids and was released in December 2014.

“I am very grateful to VTB Capital to have been given the opportunity to join the organization,” Ghavami said in an e-mailed statement. “With respect to the charges of antitrust violations, I vigorously contested those charges at trial. I believed then, and continues to believe today, that my conduct at UBS was entirely appropriate. Furthermore, these charges relate to events that happened a very long time ago, from 1999 to 2002.”

The US Supreme Court last month declined to hear an appeal from Ghavami and former colleagues who were also found guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud, leaving intact convictions for taking part in the scheme to rig municipal bond investment deals.

The case stemmed from a five-year federal antitrust probe into the $3.7 trillion municipal bond market. Lawyers for Ghavami at the time of the sentencing said the sentence was fair.

Full content: Bloomberg

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