Plaintiffs seek testimony from acquitted traders as forex cases intertwine

Nigel Frith
Trader working the Forex market

Three British men who stood accused of forex fraud as part of the so-called “Forex Cartel” were found not guilty on Friday.

The three were Chris Ashton, who formerly worked at Barclays, Rohan Ramchandani, from Citigroup, and Richard Usher, from JPMorgan Chase & Co.

However, the affair may not yet quite be over after plaintiffs in a different case said they wanted to extract depositions from the three.

The plaintiffs in the other case, which is currently ongoing at New York Southern District Court, asked a judge for permission to take the depositions on the same day that the “Cartel” were acquitted.

Participants in the other forex case, titled Nypl v. JP Morgan Chase & Co. et al, are currently unable to access the depositions as they are under what is known as a “stay”.

This stay, which was given by Judge Lorna G. Schofield, means that the depositions must remain under wraps until December 13th, 2018. This decision was made in favour of the Department for Justice, which requested it.

It remains unclear as to whether or not the order will be lifted for those involved in the other case.

Away from the ongoing complications, lawyers for the original three “Forex Cartel” defendants have been reacting positively since the three defendants in the trial were found not guilty by a court in New York.

The three men, who had been accused of rigging benchmark foreign exchange rates, were found not guilty on Friday. The jury’s decision was made in just three hours.

The verdict means the trio can now return to Britain. All three are British, and they travelled to the US of their own volition in order to answer to the claims.

They were accused of artificially adjusting the benchmark EUR/USD rates over a period of six years between 2007 and 2013.

According to the allegations, they were accused of using an internet chatroom to plan the moves. However, they argued in response that they hadn’t broken any laws by sharing information.

On Friday and over the weekend, lawyers for the three expressed their satisfaction at the verdicts.

“We believed all along that our client, Mr. Ramchandani, was innocent of the charges and we’re overjoyed that the jury agreed with us”, said lawyer Heather Tewksbury, who worked for Rohan Ramchandani.

Jonathan Pickworth, who worked for Richard Usher, said that the “nightmare” was now over.

“It’s the end of a five-year nightmare…Richard can go home now to his family. It took the jury three hours to work out what the DOJ failed to see for five years”, he said.

Ashton’s lawyers also expressed gratitude for the jury’s move. “Chris Ashton and his trial team are extremely grateful for the jury’s decision in the case”, said David Schertler.

“We were firmly convinced of Chris’s innocence from the outset”, he added.

So far, there is no indication that the Department of Justice, which brought the case, has given any comment. Its website press room currently does not contain updates on the matter.


Nigel Frith

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