Why Neil Phillips Avoided Prison: Morgan Stanley Was Victim – Bloomberg

Manhattan federal prosecutors had asked for a two-year prison sentence for Phillips, who was convicted in October of directing $700 million in trades aimed at manipulating the value of the South African rand to 12.50 against the US dollar. That was the barrier rate at which a $20 million option he bought from Morgan Stanley would pay out.

But US District Judge Lewis Liman on Tuesday instead sentenced Phillips, 53, to two years of probation and the one month he already served in a Spanish jail after his 2022 arrest. In explaining his decision, the judge said the parties in the case were all sophisticated participants in the unregulated foreign exchange spot market who knew the risks involved.

Morgan Stanley “is hardly the kind of unsuspecting victim” on whose behalf the government usually brings charges, Liman said. He noted that the bank could have taken other measures to protect against its risk from the option and didn’t request restitution from Phillips.

Source: Why Neil Phillips Avoided Prison: Morgan Stanley Was Victim – Bloomberg