Mr Hayes had invested the sum in a Silicon Roundabout mobile and software developer when the company was set up in July. But as the allegations of Japanese Libor manipulation, wire fraud and “antitrust violation” emerged, Mr Hayes transferred his shares into the name of his wife, with whom he has a one-year-old son, reports The Telegraph.
The transfer to his wife could be contested legally if the funds were proved to have been gained illegally, said a legal source.
Mr Hayes met his co-founder in the Shoreditch company while both were studying for an MBA at the London campus of Hult International Business School. The business was incorporated through Hillier Hopkins solicitors shortly before Mr Hayes and his business partner graduated from the business school in August.
Mr Hayes is still listed as a director of the company at Companies House, while job advertisements for a director of marketing and business development – posted as recently as November – describe him as the company’s “owner, investor and founder”.
The tech business has nine staff based between Shoreditch and a second office for back-office staff in Bulgaria. It claims to no longer have affiliations with Mr Hayes, who is facing extradition to the US to face criminal charges by the US Department of Justice.
He was named by the DoJ on Wednesday, following his arrest in Britain last week by the Serious Fraud Office in connection with its own investigation into Libor-rigging, although no charges have followed in the UK.
The DoJ is accusing Mr Hayes of using electronic communications to conspire to manipulate the bank’s submission of its estimated cost of borrowing in Japanese yen to the British Bankers Association, which sets the yen Libor rate.
In one electronic message, Mr Hayes is believed to have written to a broker at another firm, saying: “If you keep 6s [six-month yen Libor] unchanged today… I will ——- do one humongous deal with you… Like a 50,000 buck deal, whatever.”
But a source close to Mr Hayes said the man accused of rate-rigging is a studious and shy “walking genius” who was misled by senior managers at UBS. “I don’t understand why [the managers] are not being investigated, instead of him,” the source said.