Jury convicts ex-trader for FX market bid rigging

Maria Nikolova

A jury convicted Akshay Aiyer of conspiring to fix prices and rig bids in Central and Eastern European, Middle Eastern and African currencies.

Akshay Aiyer, a former currency trader at a major bank, got convicted on Wednesday for his participation in an antitrust conspiracy to manipulate prices for emerging market currencies in the Forex market.

The verdict, delivered by a jury at the New York Southern District Court, was announced following a three-week trial. Aiyer, a former Executive Director at a major multinational bank), was convicted of conspiring to fix prices and rig bids in Central and Eastern European, Middle Eastern and African (CEEMEA) currencies, which were generally traded against the USD and the EUR, from at least October 2010 through at least January 2013.

According to evidence presented at trial, Aiyer engaged in near-daily communications with his co-conspirators by phone, text and through an exclusive electronic chat room to coordinate their trades of the CEEMEA currencies in the FX spot market. The jury heard evidence that the defendant and his co-conspirators manipulated exchange rates by agreeing to withhold bids or offers to avoid moving the exchange rate in a direction adverse to open positions held by co-conspirators and by coordinating their trading to manipulate the rates in an effort to increase their profits. By agreeing not to buy or sell at certain times, the conspiring traders protected each other’s trading positions by withholding supply of or demand for currency and suppressing competition in the FX spot market for emerging market currencies.

The jury also heard evidence that the defendant and his co-conspirators took steps to conceal their actions by, among other steps, using code names, communicating on personal cell phones during work hours and meeting in person to discuss particular customers and trading strategies.

The Antitrust Division has charged five companies and six individuals in its investigation of collusion in the FX spot market. On May 20, 2015, four major banks – Citicorp, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Barclays PLC and The Royal Bank of Scotland plc – pleaded guilty and agreed to pay collectively more than $2.5 billion in criminal fines for their participation in an antitrust conspiracy in the euro-U.S. dollar FX spot market. On January 25, 2018, BNP Paribas USA, Inc. pleaded guilty and agreed to pay a $90 million criminal fine for its participation in an antitrust conspiracy involving emerging market FX prices. On January 4, 2017 and January 12, 2017, plea agreements were announced for two former traders in connection with an antitrust conspiracy involving emerging market FX prices.

The Antitrust Division’s investigation of collusion in the financial markets continues.

Read this next

Metaverse Gaming NFT

Astar Network’s ad features 329 top brands to support Web3 in Japan

Blockchain innovation hub Astar Network is making strides in promoting the Web3 adoption worldwide. In yet another milestone, the smart contracts platform has run a national newspaper ad in Japan that set a new global record with participation from 329 blue-chip firms.

Digital Assets

Pyth Network welcomes onchain data from crypto market maker Auros

“By sharing our high-frequency trading data with a truly onchain decentralized network, we aim to foster innovation that will lead to better financial solutions for all participants.”

Digital Assets

Tokeny integrates Ownera to boost liquidity of tokenized assets

“The adoption of FinP2P will result in higher liquidity and better access to capital and assets by providing regulated firms with one secure point of connection to multiple digital asset networks across the globe.”

Digital Assets

BingX launches subsidy vouchers to cover user losses in copy trading

“With the introduction of copy trade subsidy vouchers, new users can easily try out trading strategies without incurring losses.”

Digital Assets

Talos expands sales team: Frank van Zegveld, Matt Houston, Hillary Conley

“The extensive leadership and industry expertise of these new hires will enable us to build long-lasting relationships as we continue to build out our global presence in EMEA and beyond.”

Executive Moves

FX and CFD broker Emporium Capital hires industry veteran Robert Woolfe as COO

His past experience within the FX and CFD industry includes top roles at Capital Index, London Capital Group, GKFX, ETX Capital, and IG.  “I’m delighted to be part of the Emporium Capital team and spearheading the brokerages global expansion plans”, he said about the appointment.

Retail FX

Hantec Markets wins six categories at Global Retail Forex Awards 2022

Hantec Markets has recently rebranded with a new website and a renewed growth strategy that features the #TimeToStrike hashtag to signify a time of renewed growth for the broker.

Industry News

Nexo sued for operating crypto brokerage without license and lying about it

“Nexo violated the law and investors’ trust by falsely claiming that it is a licensed and registered platform. Nexo must stop its unlawful operations and take necessary action to protect its investors.”

Industry News

Apex Group launches EU Taxonomy Solution as part of ESG offering

“Enabling our in-scope clients to demonstrate alignment with the EU Taxonomy is only the beginning – with over twenty green taxonomies in place, in development or under discussion worldwide it is crucial that investors act to understand and report taxonomy alignment data sooner, rather than later.”

<