U.S. appeals appeals court allows former SocGen official to travel to France


NEW YORK, August 5 - A former head of the Treasury Desk of Societe Generale SA could travel to Paris, rather than stay in France to defend against U.S. charges she tried to rig the Libor benchmark interest rate, a U.S. court ruled on Thursday

Reversed a lower court ruling, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (CDU) held today. The Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan said Muriel Bescond was not a fugitive and must not cross the Atlantic Ocean and risk detention, to defend herself.

Everything Dennis Jacobs has done is stay home where she remained during the allegedly criminal scheme and where her government permits her to live freely, Circuit Judge Bescond wrote for a 2 - 1 majority. My reasons for litigating on her own is legitimate and fair.

France did not extradite its own citizens.

The office of acting U.S. Attorney Jacquelyn Kasulis in Brooklyn, bescond, declined to comment Bescond's lawyer did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Banks long used Libor to set various forms of financial contracts and price rates on mortgages, credit cards and other loans.

Bescond and her boss Danielle Sindzingre, who was SocGen's global head of treasury, were charged with preparing inaccurately low Libor submissions in 2010 and 2011 in 2017 for preparing the global Treasury Office, LCSP.

They did this to make it appear SocGen was borrowing money at lower rates than it was, and protect SocGen's reputation as a sound bank, prosecutors said.

In May 2019, U.S. District Judge Joanna Seybert in Central Islip, New York said Bescond could not seek the dismissal because of her fugitive status.

Jacobs called that an abuse of discretion.

He said Bescond did not try to escape or avoid arrest, and that deeming any soul on the planet a fugitive for staying home unmasked the presumption that U.S. laws should not apply to conduct in foreign countries.

SocGen agreed in June 2018 to pay $750 million of fines to settle United States criminal and civil Libor rigging charges. The case against Sindzingre remains open, court records show.

Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 163, No. 3