Forex Cartel withdraws request for subpoena to NEX Group

Maria Nikolova

The defendants say they had made progress in obtaining the material sought from the owner of the EBS Market platform.

Richard Usher and Christopher Ashton, two of the traders also known as the Forex Mafia or the Forex Cartel, have changed their stance regarding a proposed subpoena that sought additional information from NEX Group PLC (LON:NXG), the owner of the trading platform formerly known as Electronic Broking Services and now known as EBS Market.

Last week, the defendants, who stand accused of conspiring to manipulate the FX market, asked the New York Southern District Court to approve their request for the service of subpoenas to several entities, including NEX Group. The proposed subpoena targeted specific evidence that the defendants needed to analyze before trial in order to prepare their defenses at trial.

On Thursday, September 6th, however, the defendants submitted a short Letter to inform the Court that they had made progress in obtaining the material sought in the proposed subpoena to NEX Group plc. Accordingly, the defendants’ request for a subpoena to NEX Group plc was withdrawn without prejudice.

EBS is the trading platform on which the US Government alleges the defendants executed their price-fixing agreement. According to the former FX traders, the Government’s case will rely in significant measure on data that EBS produced to the Government, but will present to the jury an incomplete picture of the significance of that data. Hence, the defendants sought from EBS additional evidence that would assist the jury in drawing informed and correct inferences about the significance of the defendants’ trading activity on EBS.

The defendants’ proposed subpoena to EBS sought the following evidence:

  • Documents memorializing communications between EBS and the Government or its agents and consultants;
  • Documents sufficient to identify all EBS trader codes active from 2007 through 2013, inclusive, and the individual traders and institutions associated with those codes;
  • Documents sufficient to show the EBS market share of the Forex market for each year from 2007 through 2013, inclusive, including documents sufficient to explain the parameters of the market share calculation.

The Letter filed with the New York Southern District Court yesterday does not elaborate on what evidence was provided by Nex Group.

The case, captioned USA v. Usher et al (1:17-cr-00019), targets three former Forex traders, accused of having conspired to manipulate the FX market by “coordinating their bidding, offering, and trading” at “certain times.” Usher is 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 is former Managing Director and head of G10 FX spot trading at an affiliate of Citicorp. Ashton is former Head of Spot FX at an affiliate of Barclays PLC.

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