Supporters of Tom Hayes, the former UBS and Citigroup trader who last year became the first person to be jailed for rigging Libor rates, have launched an online fundraising initiative in a bid to raise enough money to pay for a new appeal against the conviction.
The crowdfunding campaign, launched on the Fundrazr website at the beginning of the month, aims to raise £150,000 to front the legal fees of a fresh appeal. So far, the campaign has received just over £3,500 from 34 contributors, half of which have chosen to remain anonymous.
The Tom Hayes Support Group, the movement behind the campaign, has described Hayes' conviction as a "politically-motivated show trial" and has claimed Hayes' family is in possession of fresh evidence on the case.
Hayes is currently serving an 11-year sentence for conspiring to rig Libor ( London Interbank Offered Rate) rates, after the original 14-year sentence was shortened on appeal. However, the former trader's appeal against the conviction was rejected and the Court of Appeal dismissed the request for the case to be brought before the Supreme Court.
Additionally, the former trader, who was arrested in December 2012 by UK authorities and was then charged with US authorities a week later, was also ordered to pay approximately £800,000. As a result, his wife Sarah Tighe is understood to be in the process of selling personal assets as well as a seven-bedroom house in southern England.
On Tuesday (3 May), Hayes revealed he would bring his case to the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), which is designed to look into alleged miscarriages of justice and has the power to refer a case back to the appeal courts.
Hayes, who has been diagnosed with a mild form of Asperger's syndrome, has appointed human rights lawyer Karen Todner as his lawyer. Todner, who once represented Gary McKinnon, himself an Asperger's syndrome sufferer who won a seven-year-long legal battle against US extradition in 2012 despite admitting hacking into the Pentagon and NASA servers, suggested the new evidence could swing things in favour of Hayes.
"Tom's family are now in possession of fresh evidence, some of which Tom requested in his trial but which UBS and the prosecution did not supply, choosing instead to say that it did not exist or that Tom had got it wrong," he said.
"We believe Tom has a strong case, which our submission to the CCRC will demonstrate."