Testamentary discovery stay continues in FX benchmark rate fixing case

Maria Nikolova

The Department of Justice has secured another stay extension in a civil lawsuit brought by consumers and end-user businesses against leading banks.

Those monitoring the developments in the lawsuit brought by consumers and end-user businesses against some of the world’s biggest banks, such as JPMorgan and Bank of America, must have noticed that the proceedings have been marked by the frequent requests by the Department of Justice (DOJ) for staying discovery.

As FinanceFeeds reported back in July, Judge Lorna G. Schofield of the New York Southern District Court granted another extension of the discovery stay in the case. The Judge ordered that the testamentary discovery stay is extended through the conclusion of the trial in United States v. Aiyer, No. 18 Cr. 333.

Earlier today, the Judge issued a memo endorsement regarding a DOJ Letter dated November 1, 2019. DOJ submitted the letter apprising the Court of the status of the Aiyer trial. The trial was adjourned from October 21, 2019 to October 30, 2019. Trial has commenced and is estimated to last four to five weeks. The Department requested that the stay remain in place through the conclusion of the trial. The Department expects the trial to conclude no later than December 6, 2019, and the Department proposed that it submit a letter apprising the Court of the status of the trial on that date.

On November 4, 2019, the Judge granted the DOJ’s application. The testamentary discovery stay will continue through the conclusion of the trial in United States v. Aiyer, No. 18 Cr. 333. On December 6, 2019, the Department is set to file a letter apprising the Court of the status of the trial in Aiyer.

This is hardly a piece of good news for the plaintiffs, as they had repeatedly opposed every stay extension sought by the DOJ.

Let’s recall that the plaintiffs in this case, captioned Nypl v. JP Morgan Chase & Co. et al (1:15-cv-09300), allege that they paid inflated Forex rates caused by an alleged conspiracy among the defendant banks to fix prices of FX benchmark rates.

The lawsuit targets major banks like JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., Barclays Capital, Inc., Citibank, N.A., Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C), Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC), Bank of America, N.A, HSBC Bank USA, N.A., HSBC North America Holdings, Inc, The Royal Bank of Scotland plc (now known as NatWest Markets plc), and UBS AG.

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