The ex-traders say they can never catch up in an evidence race the US Government has been running for more than four years.
After former Forex traders Richard Usher, Rohan Ramchandani, and Christopher Ashton, also known as the FX Cartel or FX Mafia, secured a rescheduling of their trial in the United States for October 1, 2018, they are now trying to make sure that the United States Government provides them with necessary data on time so that they can prepare their defense.
On Friday, February 23, 2018, the ex-traders sent a Letter to Honorable Richard M. Berman of the New York Southern District Court, asking for a resolution of a contested issue. The problem relates to the timing of provision of evidence related to the alleged collusion by the defendants to manipulate the FX market.
As per a previous Court Order, the Government was directed to identify no more than 200 episodes involving alleged coordination of trading between the co-conspirators for potential use in the case-in-chief at trial. For each episode, the list will provide the date, Bates number of the associated chat or phone call that describes the episode, and the approximate time of each episode. The Parties were also directed to exchange initial trial exhibit lists for case-in-chief evidence on March 1, 2018, and final trial exhibit lists for case-in-chief evidence on May 3, 2018.
At the time of the Order, the trial was scheduled to begin on June 4, 2018. But the Court has adjourned the trial to October 1, 2018.
In the face of the additional time granted to work on their defense, the ex-traders say that they continue to need the disclosures contemplated in the Order as soon as possible. However, the Government has taken the position that these disclosures should not occur until July 6 and August 10. According to the former traders, the Government’s position would only delay their evaluation of the data.
The Government has been reviewing trading data for this case since at least early 2014, the defendants say.
“Adopting the Government’s position would unfairly give the defendants only 87 days to catch up in a race the Government has been running for four and a half years”, the ex-traders argue.
The defendants say they can never catch up, but need these disclosures as soon as possible to have a fair chance to prepare for trial.
As FinanceFeeds has reported, the traders’ request for postponing the trial reflected what the defendants called “the staggering amount of recently-produced discovery”.
The defendants estimate that at the time of the status conference held on November 9, 2017, the US government had produced nearly 800,000 records totaling 8.2 million pages. On top of that, during a two-month period, the government has produced an estimated 2.2 million additional records totaling 21.4 million pages. The government has turned over millions of electronic chats, emails, and other documents spanning nearly 30 million pages, as well as raw data representing literally hundreds of millions of FX trades. The government has also produced an estimated 270,000 audio files totaling 4,388 hours of recorded audio. These audio files are not accompanied by transcriptions, which is adding to the burden of work of the defendants’ counsel.
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, have pleaded not guilty to the accusations brought by the US authorities.
The case is captioned USA v. Usher et al (1:17-cr-00019).