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UK Enron bankers sentenced to 3 years in prison for wire fraud

[JURIST] David Bermingham, one of three British bankers known as the NatWest Three [JURIST news archive] was sentenced to over three years in prison Friday after pleading guilty [JURIST report] in November to one count of wire fraud. Bermingham, along with Giles Darby and Gary Mulgrew, was indicted on seven counts of wire fraud [indictment, PDF] for entering into a secret agreement with former Enron Chief Financial Officer Andrew Fastow [Houston Chronicle profile] to defraud National Westminster Bank of $19 million while keeping $7 million for themselves. Under the terms of their plea deal, the three agreed to each serve a 37-month sentence, repay the $7.3 million they are believed to have fraudulently earned from the deal, and subject himself to a civil suit in Britain brought by the bankers' former employer. Darby and Mulgrew are due to be sentenced later Friday. Reuters has more. The Guardian has additional coverage.

The three were extradited to the US pursuant to an extradition treaty that subsequently came under heavy criticism [JURIST reports] in the UK Parliament as "lopsided." The 2003 US-UK Extradition Treaty [PDF text; Statewatch backgrounder], incorporated into UK law through the Extradition Act [text], requires only a showing of prima facie evidence by the requesting country, a lower evidentiary standard than probable cause.

2:38 PM ET - All three bankers have now been sentenced to 37 months in prison. The Houston Chronicle has more.

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