Former Barclays CEO Acquitted in Qatar Fundraising Fraud Case

Date : 06/22/2019 @ 12:07AM
Source : Dow Jones News
Stock : Barclays Plc (BARC)
Quote : 160.48  0.0 (0.00%) @ 1:00AM
Barclays share price Chart

Former Barclays CEO Acquitted in Qatar Fundraising Fraud Case

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By Mengqi Sun 

An appeals court dismissed criminal fraud charges against a former chief executive of Barclays PLC, the U.K. Serious Fraud Office said Friday.

John Varley, who served as Barclays' CEO between 2004 and 2010, was charged in 2017 with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation in capital raising and unlawful financial assistance. The case focused on fundraising arrangements with Qatari investors in 2008, according to the SFO, the U.K.'s white-collar crime prosecuting agency. Three other former Barclays executives and the bank itself were also charged in the case.

A U.K. Crown Court judge ruled in April that the evidence against Mr. Varley was insufficient for the case to proceed. The SFO appealed the decision, but the appeal was dismissed by the Court of Appeal, according to the SFO.

Both the SFO and Barclays declined to comment on the decision.

The SFO in 2012 opened the investigation into Barclays and its capital-raising arrangements with Qatar Holding LLC, a subsidiary of state-owned Qatar Investment Authority, and Challenger Universal Ltd. The bank allegedly provided a $3 billion loan to Qatar Holding in 2008 for the purpose of directly or indirectly acquiring shares in the bank, the SFO said. U.K. law forbids a company from giving someone money to buy its shares.

Mr. Varley's acquittal follows a High Court decision that cleared the bank of fraud charges last year. The three other defendants will be retried at a later date, according to the SFO.

Friday's acquittal follows the high-profile collapse of the SFO's prosecution of three former executives at subsidiaries of British retailer Tesco PLC. Two of the former executives were cleared of wrongdoing in December, while the third was acquitted in January.

Dylan Tokar contributed to this article.

Write to Mengqi Sun at mengqi.sun@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 21, 2019 18:52 ET (22:52 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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