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Barclays Execs Charged With Conspiracy To Commit Fraud Over Qatar Deal

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Barclays Execs Charged With Conspiracy To Commit Fraud Over Qatar Deal

Britain filed criminal charges against Barclays PLC (ADR) (NYSE: BCS) and four ex-bank officials over cash from Qatar that was meant to rescue the bank during the 2008 global financial meltdown.

The United Kingdom Serious Fraud Office charged the bank with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation of a June 2008 investment by Qatar’s Sovereign Wealth Fund.

The people charged include former CEO John Varley and Roger Jenkins, Barclays' former head of investment banking in the Middle East. The pair also face a second charge of conspiracy to commit fraud over an October 2008 deal with Qatari investors.

Barclays shares were seen down 2.52 percent to $10.27 on Tuesday.

Charges Carry Jail Time

The defendants are to appear in court on July 3. A criminal fraud charge carries a penalty of up to 10 years in jail.

"As one might expect in the challenging circumstances of 2008, Mr. Jenkins sought and received both internal and external legal advice on each and every aspect of the accusations leveled today," said Brad Kaufman, Jenkins’ lawyer.

Shortly after the 2008 investments were made, Barclays made a $3 billion loan facility available to Qatar, according to the Serious Fraud Office. The purported Qatar investments allowed the bank to avoid a British government bailout and the attendant oversight of executive pay.

"We are pleased that this matter, which led to the stay of our own case, is now in the public domain," the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority said in a statement on Tuesday. "We welcome a fair and transparent hearing on the basis of the charges set out today."

Related Link: Barclays Announces Sale of Majority in Barclays Of Zimbabwe

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