FX Trader Sues Citi for Framing Him to Appease Regulators

Seeking $112 million, Ramchandani is the latest FX trader to sue Citi in the aftermath of the market-manipulation scandal.

A former Citi trader fired over claims that he colluded with others to rig the FX market has sued the bank for implicating him “without probable cause” in order to appease regulators after being fined billions of dollars.

Rohan Ramchandani, the former European head of the FX trading desk at Citi, is sueing the US bank for a “secret scheme to dirty up” his name, according to a lawsuit filed today at the federal court in Manhattan.

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He accuses Citigroup with fabricating an antitrust case for the US regulators based upon “knowingly false allegations that he engaged in market manipulation and collusion,” according to the complaint.

Seeking $112 million, Ramchandani is the latest FX trader to sue the lender in the aftermath of the market-manipulation scandal that cost banks about $10 billion in fines. At least five other traders sued Citigroup while nearly 30 traders at various banks have been fired, suspended or put on leave since the scandal broke.

“Employers should not be allowed to throw innocent employees under the bus, nor to play judge, jury and executioner, in an attempt to limit their corporate liability,” Mr Ramchandani said in a statement.

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Background

Following a lengthy trial, a US judge dropped criminal complaints last year against Ramchandani and two other British traders accused of conspiring to rig the foreign exchange market, two years after the men were acquitted by a UK court.

The London-based trio allegedly created a chat group that they named “the Cartel” to coordinate trading of US dollars and euros and manipulate the prices of the exchange rates.

The decision comes after the UK-based traders asked the court to dismiss the case against them, saying they did nothing wrong as their banks “weren’t always in direct competition.” Lawyers for three former FX traders also urged the jury to acquit their clients of all charges, rejecting the evidence presented by prosecutors and the testimony of a Standard Chartered trader against them.

The indictments against the trio came after US authorities faced criticism for not prosecuting any traders involved in the FX rigging scandal since it broke out in 2013, although they did impose multi-billion dollar fines against major banks.

Back in March 2016, Britain’s Serious Fraud Office looked at the same evidence and decided not to bring charges, citing insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction.

Lawyers for the traders criticized the US for moving forward with the case, but the City traders agreed to voluntarily travel to New York to defend themselves and deny any wrongdoing.

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