The US Department of Justice has announced that a Federal grand jury has returned an indictment against three members of the infamous Cartel chat room that allegedly conspired to manipulate FX markets.
The one-count indictment, filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, charges former RBS trader Richard Usher, ex-Citi head of spot FX Rohan Ramchandani and former Barclays trader Christ Ashton with conspiring to fix prices and rig bids for US dollars and euros exchanged in the FX spot market.
Court documents filed in New York this week indicate that three members of the notorious “Cartel” chat room have agreed to extradition to the US to be arraigned on charges of conspiracy to rig FX markets.
In a letter, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) states, “We are writing to confirm that each of the three defendants in the above-referenced case – Richard Usher, Rohan Ramchandani, and Christopher Ashton – have agreed to voluntarily appear before the Court on the charge brought against them by indictment in January of this year.
Richard Usher, Rohan Ramchandani and Chris Ashton, the three members of the now notorious “Cartel” chat room, have been found not guilty of FX market manipulation by a jury in New York.
It was alleged that between 2007 and 2013 Usher, Ramchandani and Ashton worked in coordination to fix prices and rig EUR/USD markets, participating in telephone calls and electronic messages, including near-daily conversations in a private electronic chat room, in order to achieve this. The indictment against them was issued in January of this year.
If found guilty the three could have each faced a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
In this Profit & Loss exclusive, Rohan Ramchandani, who was recently acquitted of FX market manipulation by a jury in New York, breaks his silence on the case and gives his perspective on why he believes the prosecution’s arguments were fundamentally flawed.Cast your mind back to 2008. Lehman Brothers collapsed, the financial crisis ensued, causing a global recession, which in turn led to unemployment climbing and house prices falling. People lost their homes. There was public outrage at what happened, aimed primarily at global “bankers” though few understood exactly what role individuals had played. Nonetheless, in the following months, one question in particular recurred in the press, namely “who is being held accountable?” This was to prove the start of a multi-year “anti-banker” campaign provoking regulators and prosecutors to go hunting for blood.
In this week's podcast Colin Lambert and Galen Stops discuss the article penned for Profit & Loss by former FX trader Rohan Ramchandani about his trial and subsequent acquittal for market manipulation. While they generally agree on most points there is, inevitably, areas of disagreement, but that is nothing compared to when they move on (thanks to a quiet news week) to how they ranked each other's predictions for 2018. The results are available on the website, but why did Stops given Lambert a 6/10 for a bitcoin prediction that was actually correct? And why did Lambert return the compliment given Stops just a 4/10 for his own crypto prediction? All will be revealed in this week's In the FICC of It podcast, along with exactly which one of them scored the most points with their predictions.