Matthew Connolly, who once led Deutsche Bank’s pool trading desk in New York, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon in Manhattan to six months’ home confinement, while Gavin Campbell Black, who worked on the bank’s London desk, was sentenced to nine months’ home confinement, which he will be allowed to serve in England. McMahon also ordered Connolly to pay a $100,000 fine, and Black to pay a $300,000 fine. The sentence is a setback for U.S. prosecutors in one of the few criminal cases to emerge from a sweeping probe of Libor rigging. The prosecutors had asked the judge to order “substantial” prison time for both men, saying federal guidelines called for close to 10 years, along with a $3 million fine for Connolly and a $2 million fine for Black.
McMahon, however, said the prosecutors were trying to hold Connolly and Black responsible for behavior throughout the financial industry.
Out of 27 traders prosecuted for allegedly manipulating benchmark interest or foreign exchange rates, nine have successfully challenged charges. Eight pleaded guilty.
“You didn’t think you were cheating any customers?” an attorney for one of the traders asked Mr. Gardiner. “I didn’t think I was cheating anyone,” he responded.
After four hours of deliberation, the jury acquitted all three traders.
The case marked the failure of a multiyear effort to crack down on alleged wrongdoing by individuals in finance. The Obama Justice Department announced several policy changes to encourage more charges against individuals, including instructing prosecutors to focus on individuals from the start of any white-collar investigation.
In a September 2015 memo outlining the new approach, Ms. Yates told prosecutors that companies needed to provide the Justice Department with “all relevant facts” about their employees involved in misconduct to get credit for cooperating.
The Trump administration has pursued the same policy, describing companies as their partners in fighting corporate wrongdoing. Critics say the policy effectively turns banks into an arm of the prosecution and incentivizes them to seek leniency by throwing their own employees under the bus.
https://www.wsj.com/articles/prosecuting-bankers-proves-exercise-in-frustration-11551614418

Screenshot 2019-05-30 at 9.06.10 AM

Sudden, violent and often quickly reversed price moves are now a regular occurrence in world currency markets — often during the so-called ‘witching hour’, a period of thin trading between 5-6 pm in New York when currency dealers there have powered off and colleagues in Tokyo have yet to sign on. Bankers and policymakers agree that an industry-wide switch to machine-trading in FX markets is behind the frequency and severity of the price moves, meaning that further crashes are likely.

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A key question raised by the Antitrust Division’s foreign exchange trial loss is whether the Criminal Division – which has been taking the lead in the LIBOR investigation and has already successfully tried multiple cases as part of this investigation – will assume a greater role in the foreign exchange investigation or other financial services investigations that are or may be conducted by the Antitrust Division. We may soon know the answer to this question given that the Antitrust Division has a pending case against another foreign exchange trader that could go to trial next year.

 

[ October 26 2018  “The Cartel” acquitted of all charges   ]

Chris Ashton, Rohan Ramchandani and Richard Usher, who worked at Barclays Plc, Citigroup Inc and JPMorgan Chase & Co, respectively, were acquitted of all charges by a jury in Manhattan federal court after a trial of conspiring to violate the Sherman Act, a federal antitrust law.

 

]October 23 2018   “The Cartel” USDCNY foreign exchange case nears end   ]

The jury could start deliberations as soon as Wednesday, October 24 or Thursday.
In the U.S. probe into the multitrillion-dollar foreign exchange market,”The Cartel” consists of the following:

Richard Usher, who went by the moniker “Feston” in chat-room conversations, Rohan Ramchandani, known as “Rug” or “Ruggy,Christopher Ashton, nicknamed “Robocop,”The manipulation has reportedly cost global banks $14 billion in penalties so far.

The one-count indictment, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, charges Richard Usher (former Head of G11 FX Trading-UK at an affiliate of The Royal Bank of Scotland plc, as well as former Managing Director at an affiliate of JPMorgan Chase & Co.), Rohan Ramchandani (former Managing Director and head of G10 FX spot trading at an affiliate of Citicorp) and Christopher Ashton (former Head of Spot FX at an affiliate of Barclays PLC) with conspiring to fix prices and rig bids for U.S. dollars and euros exchanged in the FX spot market.
Unlike the US, the U.K. Serious Fraud Office dropped its investigation into currency rigging last year citing insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction.
misdeeds