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Indo-British Trader Among Three Charged In Currency-Rigging Case In US

Rohan Ramchandani, Richard Usher and Christopher Ashton voluntarily surrendered to the FBI and were arraigned with conspiring to fix prices and rig bids for US dollars and euros exchanged in the foreign currency exchange (FX) spot market, the Justice Department said in a statement this week. It said the charge in the indictment carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a USD 1 million fine.

NEW YORK – An Indian-origin British national is among three former traders of major banks charged for their alleged roles in a conspiracy to manipulate the price of US dollars and euros exchanged in the foreign currency exchange spot market.

Rohan Ramchandani, Richard Usher and Christopher Ashton voluntarily surrendered to the FBI and were arraigned with conspiring to fix prices and rig bids for US dollars and euros exchanged in the foreign currency exchange (FX) spot market, the Justice Department said in a statement this week.

It said the charge in the indictment carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a USD 1 million fine.

Usher was former trader at an affiliate of The Royal Bank of Scotland as well as former Managing Director at an affiliate of JPMorgan Chase & Co, Ramchandani was a former Managing Director and head of spot trading at an affiliate of Citicorp and Ashton was former head of Spot FX at an affiliate of Barclays.

According to the indictment, from December 2007 through January 2013, Usher, Ramchandani and Ashton along with unnamed co-conspirators conspired to fix prices and rig bids for the euro – US dollar currency pair.

Called “the Cartel” or “the Mafia,” this group of traders carried out their conspiracy by participating in telephone calls and near-daily conversations in a private electronic chat room.

Their anticompetitive behaviour included colluding around the time of certain benchmark rates known as fixes, such as by coordinating their bidding/offering and trading to manipulate the price of the currency pair by the time of the fix or otherwise profit as a result of the fix price.

The conspirators also coordinated their trading activities outside of fix times, such as by refraining from entering bids/offers or trading at certain times as a means of stabilising or controlling price

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