FX Cartel seeks extra evidence from EBS owner NEX Group

Maria Nikolova

Former Forex traders Richard Usher and Christopher Ashton seek from EBS additional evidence about its communications with the US Government, as well as about its trader codes and market share.

As the start of the trial against Richard Usher, Rohan Ramchandani, and Christopher Ashton, who stand accused of conspiracy to manipulate the FX market, draws closer, the efforts to obtain necessary evidence intensify.

On Friday, August 31, 2018, Usher and Ashton asked the New York Southern District Court to approve their request for the service of subpoenas to several entities, including NEX Group PLC (LON:NXG), the owner of the trading platform formerly known as Electronic Broking Services and now known as EBS Market.

The proposed subpoena targets specific evidence that the defendants need to analyze before trial in order to prepare their defenses at trial.

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 seek 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 seeks 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.

Furthermore, the defendants explain that the Government has provided summaries of some of its communications with EBS but the defendants need the full communications. The Government’s summaries do not have the same evidentiary value as the underlying letters and emails. The defendants also need the trader codes and market share evidence to present to the jury a fuller picture of the significance of the EBS data on which the Government will rely at trial.

The defense counsel has gotten in touch with a US-based contact for EBS but she will be unable to confirm until Tuesday, September 4, whether EBS requires a subpoena to produce the requested documents.

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. Ashton is former Head of Spot FX at an affiliate of Barclays PLC. Usher, Ashton and Ramchandani, also known as Forex Mafia or FX Cartel, are alleged to have conspired to manipulate the FX market by “coordinating their bidding, offering, and trading” at “certain times.”

In late August, the ex-traders stepped up their efforts to persuade the Government to produce evidence in this case. The defendants have once again asked the Court to direct the Government to request its key witness’s statements and submissions to the authorities of Korea and Brazil, and the data related to the joint investigation conducted by the Government and the Federal Reserve Bank (FRB).

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

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