Evidence row between “FX Cartel” and US Govt deepens

Maria Nikolova

The US Government has to make its own, direct request for information to the authorities of Korea and Brazil about evidence that may be crucial in an FX manipulation case, three former Forex traders argue.

Less than a week after the United States Government said it could not and would not provide documents requested by three former FX traders – Richard Usher, Rohan Ramchandani, and Christopher Ashton, the defendants have once again insisted that the US authorities must make an extra effort to obtain evidence from foreign regulators.

Let’s recall that the defendants, also known as the FX Cartel or the FX Mafia, had asked the Judge to help them access statements made by the chief US Government witness to the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO), Australia Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC), and Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC). The United States Government had produced to the defendants the statement that the witness made to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC).

However, the ex-traders said they were aware of at least three additional statements – specifically, statements made to the competition authorities in Korea and Brazil, and a statement to the Federal Reserve Bank (FRB) in the United States. These statements are material to preparing the defense, yet the Government has declined to produce them.

In a Letter to Judge Richard M. Berman of the New York Southern District Court, filed today and seen by FinanceFeeds, the defendants argue that the US Government must make an extra effort to obtain the evidence from the foreign authorities and the FRB.

In its essence, the Letter says that the Government has to ask the regulators of Brazil and Korea for any statements made by its cooperating witness. According to the defendants, the US Government has not made its own, direct request to these authorities. Such a request would carry far more weight.

The witness whose testimony is sought is said to have provided detailed description of his past trading activities to Korean and Brazilian authorities. After hearing his testimony, these regulators decided not to prosecute him. That is why, his testimony is seen as crucial in the case and the defendants seek the information with such perseverance.

Usher, former Head of G11 FX Trading-UK at an affiliate of Royal Bank of Scotland plc, as well as former Managing Director at an affiliate of JPMorgan Chase & Co., Ramchandani, former Managing Director and head of G10 FX spot trading at an affiliate of Citicorp, and Ashton, former Head of Spot FX at an affiliate of Barclays PLC, are alleged to have conspired to manipulate the FX market by “coordinating their bidding, offering, and trading” at “certain times.”

The case is captioned USA v. Usher et al (1:17-cr-00019).

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