United States v. Richard Usher, et al.
Analysis Group was retained on behalf of Richard Usher, Christopher Ashton, and Rohan Ramchandini, three London-based foreign exchange (FX) traders accused by the US Department of Justice Antitrust Division of violating the Sherman Act by colluding in the Euro-US dollar currency pair. The three traders were alleged to have used an online Bloomberg chatroom to coordinate their trading on the spot Euro-dollar market.
An Analysis Group team led by President Pierre Cremieux, Managing Principals Richard Starfield and Samuel Weglein, and Vice Presidents Chris Feige and Xinyu Ji supported two academic affiliates. Finance expert Professor Michael Melvin testified on chatroom data and trading behavior, and opined that the defendants had pursued independent trading strategies and used the chatroom to trade with each other in buy-sell transactions, creating liquidity rather than coordinating horizontal trading strategy. Antitrust expert Professor Edward Snyder analyzed whether the alleged conduct was anticompetitive in nature.
A jury in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York acquitted the three traders of all charges in four hours of deliberation after a three-week trial. Subsequently, Mr. Usher and Mr. Ramchandani were the object of a separate administrative proceeding by the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of the Comptroller of Currency (OCC), which alleged that the two traders had engaged in cartel activity through the Bloomberg chatroom, allegedly amounting to “unsafe or unsound practices” and a breach of their fiduciary duties. Following testimony from Professors Melvin and Snyder and regulatory expert Dr. James Overdahl, the OCC withdrew its charges, ending the case against the traders.