“FX Cartel” traders ask NY Court to adjourn trial date

Maria Nikolova

The defendants request an adjournment of the current trial date – June 4, 2018, to the fall of 2018, based on the fact that the US government has already produced 25 volumes of material containing about two terabytes of data, with the volume climbing further.

Former traders Richard Usher, Rohan Ramchandani, and Christopher Ashton, also known as the “FX Cartel” or “FX Mafia” are asking the Court to reschedule the date of their trial as the volume of evidence associated with the case continues to grow.

On Wednesday, November 8, 2017, the defendants who are accused of conspiring to fix prices and rig bids for US Dollars and Euros in the FX spot market, addressed the Honorable Richard M. Berman of the New York Southern District Court, asking for an adjournment of the trial date. In the Letter, seen by FinanceFeeds, the defense counsel requests an adjournment of the current trial date (June 4, 2018) to the fall of 2018.

In particular, the defense counsel stresses that through November 3, 2017, the United States government has produced 25 volumes of material containing approximately two terabytes of data, including:

  • 267,000 chats (2.6 million pages);
  • 153,000 emails (1.4 million pages);
  • 143,000 audio files (1,800 audio hours), and transcripts for 250 of these files;
  • 11,500 spreadsheets of trading data (hundreds of millions of transactions).

In addition, the volume of data continues to increase, as on October 26, 2017, the government advised that it recently became aware of the existence of discoverable documents in the custody and control of a third-party financial institution. This new material consists of approximately 212,000 chats (which will translate to millions of pages), 3,000 audio files, and 4,000 text messages involving defendant Christopher Ashton and the government’s chief cooperating witness.

The evidence associated with the case has already created arguments between the US government and the defendants. The ex-traders had earlier demanded a “bill of particulars”, a list of written questions from one party to another asking for details (particulars) about a claim or defense. The defendants had also argued that they need information about the trades underlying each alleged manipulation episode to defend against the allegations of coordinated trading. The government, however, had opposed this request.

In October, the Court agreed with the US Government. In the Decision & Order, the Court stated it finds that a bill of particulars is unnecessary in these circumstances because “a bill of particulars is not necessary where the government [makes] sufficient disclosures concerning its evidence and witnesses by other means.” Under the Government’s discovery proposal, Defendants would obtain the trading data either two weeks after the Court provides its opinion and order on dispositive motions or March 1, 2018, that is, 95 days prior to trial, whichever is earlier. The Government would also update the trading data on May 3, 2018, that is, 32 days prior to the current trial date.

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

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