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Jewish Banksters, Treasury Auction Yield Fraud

 

Aug 2015 ... It seems quite plausible that the next round of big banks-rigging-things cases will be about rigging the Treasury auction market. And it seems quite likely that those cases will look a lot like Libor and FX. "As U.S. Probes $12.7 Trillion Treasury Market, Trader Talk Is a Good Place to Start," is this Bloomberg headline, and quite sensibly! It is always a good place to start, and one assumes that the Justice Department started there.  But the way the world works is that, as soon as the world finds out that the Justice Department is investigating a banks-rigging-things case, a lot of private plaintiffs' lawyers launch lawsuits against the banks, hoping for a piece of the action. "For shareholder lawyers, Treasury auction antitrust case is next big thing," is this Reuters headline, and quite sensibly! There's a lot of money in the Treasury market, and if the Justice Department is looking at it, then the chats are likely to be quite juicy. MORE

Lawsuit

Excerpt: On certain occasions the Treasury re-issues the same exact securities in a follow-on auction. Again, because the promise to be paid a dollar by the Treasury, is a promise to be paid a dollar by the Treasury, yields in a competitive auction for re-issued Treasuries should be the same as yields for the same exact thingavailable on the secondary market. That, again, is not what the data shows. Instead, again, Defendants were able to consistently secure for themselves—despite the purported confidential, competitive auction— windfall yields/bargain prices in the follow-on auction as compared to what was being demanded in the secondary market.

 

 

Defendants: BANK OF NOVA SCOTIA, NEW YORK AGENCY; BMO CAPITAL MARKETS CORP.; BNP PARIBAS SECURITIES CORP.; BARCLAYS CAPITAL INC.; CANTOR FITZGERALD & CO.; CITIGROUP GLOBAL MARKETS INC.; COMMERZ MARKETS LLC; COUNTRYWIDE SECURITIES CORP.; CREDIT SUISSE SECURITIES (USA) LLC; DAIWA CAPITAL MARKETS AMERICA INC.; DEUTSCHE BANK SECURITIES INC.; GOLDMAN, SACHS & CO.; HSBC SECURITIES (USA) INC.; JEFFERIES LLC; J.P. MORGAN SECURITIES LLC; MERRILL LYNCH, PIERCE, FENNER & SMITH INCORPORATED; MERRILL LYNCH GOVERNMENT SECURITIES INC.; MIZUHO SECURITIES USA INC.; MORGAN STANLEY & CO. LLC; NOMURA SECURITIES INTERNATIONAL, INC.; RBC CAPITAL MARKETS, LLC; RBS SECURITIES INC.; SG AMERICAS SECURITIES, LLC; TD SECURITIES (USA) LLC; and UBS SECURITIES LLC,

 

 

9-11

 

 
 

Bloomberg ... Maybe Banks Manipulated Treasury Bonds, Too

9 SEPT 18, 2015 7:54 AM EDT

One thing we've learned since the financial crisis is that banks like to get together and rig things. At the very least, they got together and rigged Libor and some foreign exchange fixes. We know this pretty definitively because there are tons and tons and tons of e-mails and electronic chats in which bank traders talked with each other about manipulating Libor and foreign exchange rates. The FX chat rooms even have names like "the Cartel." You read the chats, and you know something bad was going on.

Which is useful, because another thing that one could, with careful attention, have learned since the financial crisis is that it can be tricky to separate illegal manipulation from legal but awkward-sounding activities. So Libor. Libor manipulation consisted of making up arbitrary numbers and passing them off as the interest rate at which banks could borrow. But Libor consisted of making up fake numbers and passing them off as the interest rate at which banks could borrow. The difference is that Libor manipulation consisted of intentionally skewing the numbers to make a bank look better or to make its derivative trading more profitable. If you didn't have the chats, you'd have a hard time distinguishing the manipulated numbers from the perfectly fine made-up numbers.

Or FX. In FX manipulation, traders took customer orders to buy currencies at a specified fixing time and then bought those currencies ahead of the fixing time, pushing up the price and allowing the banks to sell the currencies back to the customers at a higher fixing price. That sounds awful, when you say it like that. But that was actually fine! That was so fine that shortly after the big FX settlements the banks sent letters to their clients reminding them that it was fine. What wasn't fine was that the traders also shared the customer orders with each other in chat rooms with dumb names. This made it a bit easier for the banks to push up the price, though it probably didn't make it that much easier, and the banks probablydidn't make much money doing it, particularly not compared with the fines. Still, it was obviously bad behavior, as you can tell from the chats.

It seems quite plausible that the next round of big banks-rigging-things cases will be about rigging the Treasury auction market. And it seems quite likely that those cases will look a lot like Libor and FX. "As U.S. Probes $12.7 Trillion Treasury Market, Trader Talk Is a Good Place to Start," is this Bloomberg headline, and quite sensibly! It is always a good place to start, and one assumes that the Justice Department started there. 

But the way the world works is that, as soon as the world finds out that the Justice Department is investigating a banks-rigging-things case, a lot of private plaintiffs' lawyers launch lawsuits against the banks, hoping for a piece of the action. "For shareholder lawyers, Treasury auction antitrust case is next big thing," is this Reuters headline, and quite sensibly! There's a lot of money in the Treasury market, and if the Justice Department is looking at it, then the chats are likely to be quite juicy.

But the plaintiffs' lawyers don't have the chats yet. So they have to fall back on public evidence. And the way they do that is kind of weird.

Here's one of the main investor lawsuits, brought last month against a group of primary-dealer banks on behalf of plaintiffs including the Cleveland Bakers and Teamsters Pension Fund. Here's a Bloomberg article about the plaintiffs' analysis. Here's how I would summarize the analysis, schematically:

  1. Banks made money on Treasury auctions.
  2. Remember all those other things they manipulated?

Point 2 is, of course, a fair point, and the complaint devotes nine pages to it. The syllogism "banks manipulated things; this is a thing; therefore banks manipulated this" is not airtight, exactly, but it has a certain inductive appeal.

But I want to focus on point 1. The entirety of the plaintiffs' evidence of manipulation here is that the banks made a profit from participating in Treasury auctions that is statistically distinguishable from zero. So, for instance, the plaintiffs look at auctions of Treasury re-issues, in which the Treasury auctions new bonds that are interchangeable with existing bonds that are already trading in the secondary market. Here's the complaint:

On certain occasions the Treasury re-issues the same exact securities in a follow-on auction. Again, because the promise to be paid a dollar by the Treasury, is a promise to be paid a dollar by the Treasury, yields in a competitive auction for re-issued Treasuries should be the same as yields for the same exact thingavailable on the secondary market.

That, again, is not what the data shows. Instead, again, Defendants were able to consistently secure for themselves—despite the purported confidential, competitive auction— windfall yields/bargain prices in the follow-on auction as compared to what was being demanded in the secondary market.

And: "Across all tenors, the auction yields of reissued Treasuries were inflated in 69% of auctions (i.e., Defendants got a bargain price 69% of the time), by 0.91 basis points." For instance, in the 10-year bond, 62.5 percent of reissuance auctions resulted in a higher yield (lower price) to the dealers than in the contemporaneous secondary market, with an average higher yield of 1.75 basis points. (For the current 10-year that works out to a price that is about 0.15 percent lower than the secondary-market price.) So, statistically, the primary dealer banks got a discount of let's just say about 0.15 percent when they bought new 10-year Treasuries at auction.

Is that because they conspired to drive down the auction price? Quite possibly! But it's worth noting that dealers are supposed to make money intermediating bonds. For instance, when banks underwrite corporate bonds, they buy those bonds from the issuer at a discount to the price at which they can sell them -- even if the issuer has a liquid benchmark bond complex for comparison. (Even if the issuer is reopening an existing bond!) This is in part to pay the banks for taking risk in the underwriting, in part to compensate the banks for the work of distributing the bonds to investors, and in part to compensate the banks for all the other free work that they provide to the issuer in the hopes of winning bond deals. All of those reasons are attenuated in Treasury auctions, where the risks are lower, the distribution is easier, and the relationship is more arm's-length. Still, it would be weird if primary dealers distributed Treasuries for free. They are providing a service that the Treasury wants as part of an explicit relationship. Even when the Treasury is issuing bonds that are interchangeable with existing bonds, it should expect to pay some (implicit) intermediation fee to get those new bonds into the hands of investors. 

Now the 0.15 percent discount that the plaintiffs assert the banks get on new 10-years does seem, to my untutored eye, kind of high. Some comparisons: When Apple did a 10-year bond earlier this year, the banks bought it at a 0.60 percent discount, four times as big as the alleged discount here. But underwriting a corporate bond offering is a lot harder and riskier than participating in a Treasury auction, and you'd expect the Treasury to get a significantly better deal than Apple. Another way to compare is that the bid/ask spread on the 10-year Treasury typically runs a bit more than 1/64 of a point; a bank trading Treasuries in the secondary market would earn about 0.017 percent per trade, an order of magnitude less than the banks allegedly made on these auction trades. But of course primary underwriting generally is more expensive than secondary-market trading. 

The point, though, is that the plaintiffs here don't exactly argue that the banks made a bigger profit than they should have on intermediating Treasury auctions. Rather they say that the banks should have made zero expected profit, and made more than that. Take another passage from the complaint, this one about auctions generally (not just of re-issued bonds):

If someone gets something in an auction for a truly bargain price, they should be able to turn and sell it for a profit. That is, in fact, what the data shows occurred. Defendants were, once again, anomalously and predictably “winners” in the auction. A disproportionate number of times, yields went down for the just-auctioned Securities following the auction (i.e., prices went up) over the course of the rest of the day, or the next one. The odds Defendants by random chance (and without collusion) secured a preferential auction rate across so many maturities, across so many auctions, is statistically zero.

But you hear the same things all the time about market makers in other markets. It is a perennial topic of complaint that electronic market-makers always make money. Certainly lots of people think that they make this money by cheating, but the more straightforward explanation is that they are in a market-making business, charging counterparties a bid/ask spread to provide liquidity. You may think they overcharge, but the relevant point is that if they couldn't reliably make money in that business, they wouldn't be in the business. If banks couldn't predictably make money bidding for Treasuries at auction, they wouldn't bid for Treasuries at auction. (Of course, they are required to bid for Treasuries at auction by virtue of their primary dealer status, but that's no objection. If you are bidding for something at auction only because you are required to, not because you want to, then you have every incentive to underbid.)

Now you might argue, as the complaint does, that the only way to reliably bid less than the market price for Treasuries is by collusion. But the complaint itself refutes this. The plaintiffs have all sorts of ways of comparing the auction price to the contemporaneous fair market price. As we discussed, they compare auction and secondary prices of re-issued bonds, and subsequent trading prices of auctioned bonds; in both cases they find that the dealers paid less than the fair price for auctioned bonds. They also compare auction prices to the when-issued market, and find that "when-issued yields before the auction were consistently predicting lower yields than what occurred (i.e., they were guessing prices in the auction would be higher than they ended up being)." There is similar evidence from the futures market, and from the trading prices of similar but not identical on-the-run Treasuries. 

The plaintiffs take this as evidence of manipulation. Maybe! But what it also shows is that, if you were a Treasury dealer, you could know what the fair price was. After all, the plaintiffs claim to know what the fair price was, from lots of different evidence. But if you are a Treasury dealer, there is no reason to bid the fair price. Not because you're manipulating, but because you are an intermediary -- a dealer -- and the "right" price for you to bid is the fair mid-market price minus your fee for intermediation.

Of course, the fee for intermediation should be competitive, and in the absence of collusion you'd expect it to be competed down. But you wouldn't expect it to be competed down to zero. The U.S. equity market used to be very un-competitive, and the fee for intermediation was about 12.5 cents. Now it is very competitive, and the fee is about 1 cent, sometimes much less. But it is not -- statistically, in the long run -- zero. Intermediaries still get paid something. Electronic market-makers still, controversially, make money.

None of this means that the Treasury market wasn't manipulated. Really the purpose of this complaint is to fish for the chats: The idea is that if the complaint states a plausible claim for manipulation, the plaintiffs may get discovery, and may end up finding chats and e-mails that prove collusion and manipulation. And it's not animplausible claim: I suppose you could argue that those consistent profits are too high. The best evidence for that is probably that, as the complaint puts it, "Following the Announcement of the DOJ's Treasuries Investigation, Signs of Artificiality Dissipated," which sure is a suggestive clue that the banks might have been misbehaving and knocked it off as soon as the DOJ started inquiring.

Still, it is worth remembering that sometimes financial intermediaries are allowed, even expected, to make money. The system may in fact be rigged in a way that allows Treasury primary dealers to make a profit by bidding for Treasury bonds at auction. But that might just be how the system is supposed to work. We'll only know for sure when we see the chats.

  1. They rigged ISDAfix too. And there is widespread suspicion -- and a Justice Department investigation -- about metals-market rigging. (There is also a settled case of metals manipulation, by Barclays, but that is more about one guy's manipulation than a widespread conspiracy.)

  2. I am constantly quoting the proposition that Libor was "the rate of interest at which big banks don't lend to each other." It was always a survey-based number, not a market rate, and so was always in some deep sense made up.

  3. It was! The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority said:

    A firm legitimately managing the risk arising from its net client orders at the fix rate may make a profit or a loss from its associated trading in the market. Such trading can potentially influence the fix rate. For example, a firm buying a large volume of currency in the market just before or during the fix may cause the fix rate to move higher. This gives rise to a potential conflict of interest between a firm and its clients.

    And, again, I recommend Dan Davies on the subject.

  4. It is much easier for the Justice Department to get them than it is for the plaintiffs' lawyers, not least because cheerful and enthusiastic cooperation with the government is the main way for banks to reduce the penalties that they ultimately pay. There's a policy and everything.

  5. The lawyers on this case are led by Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC and Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP. Alison Frankel lists this case first among those brought by "some of the most successful plaintiffs' firms in the business," though there are other complaints by other big firms. Also what do you think the meetings of bakers and teamsters are like? 

  6. Pages 55-63, hitting high points including Libor, ISDAfix, FX and gold. Also a chunk of page 54 is devoted to Salomon Brothers' past manipulation of Treasury auctions.

  7. That is, Bloomberg shows the 2 percent of August 2025 as having a dollar value per basis point ("DV01") of $877 per $1 million principal amount, so 1.75 basis points would be worth about $1,534 per million or about 0.1534 percent of par. The comparable number for the 30-year -- I see $1,928 of DV01, and the complaint alleges an average positive spread of 2.28 basis points -- is 0.44 percent. For the 26-week bill ($49.38 DV01, 0.74bps average spread), it's 0.00365 percent, or a bit under half a basis point of principal.

  8. Though not non-existent. Primary dealers are expected to "provide the New York Fed’s trading desk with market commentary and market information and analysis helpful in the formulation and implementation of monetary policy," much like investment banks do for corporate clients.

  9. Separately, investors who buy corporate bonds in new issues tend to make money. I think that the right way to conceptualize this is, again, that issuers are compensating the investors for taking a risk on a new bond. You might expect something similar to happen in the Treasury market, though of course on a much smaller scale because the risk is so much smaller.

  10. This is I think the right way to interpret paragraphs 131 to 132 of  the complaint:

    As seen in the studies set forth in the preceding Sections, yields within the auction systematically departed from other measurables within the marketplace. Strikingly, when Defendants were more involved in a given auction, the observed anomalies were bigger. Conversely, when Defendants were less involved in a given auction, the observed anomalies were smaller. In other words, Defendants’ level of involvement in an auction, and the level of price artificiality went hand-in-hand.

    This can be seen in the following chart, which uses a regression model to measure how correlated the amount of securities Defendants “won” in a given auction was, with respect to the size of the gap between the auction yields and the yields at the end of the auction day, after having controlled for contemporaneous market movements in the secondary market. The numbers are negative, for all the maturities. Which is to say, again, the more securities Defendants “won,” the more artificial (too high) the auction rate yields were.

    But if your model is just that bank dealers (non-collusively) charge for providing liquidity, and fundamental-investor primary bidders do not, then the more primary bidders there are, the higher the price will be. If the only bidders for an auction are primary dealers who are required to bid, of course their bids won't be that aggressive. That's not collusion, it's just how auctions work.

  11. Put another way, there's no reason to expect a "winner's curse" in the Treasury market, because there's lots of data on market values.

  12. Though technically the claim is that they knocked it off as soon as the press reported that the DOJ was inquiring:

    On June 8, 2015, media outlets first reported that the DOJ was investigating Defendants for their potential role in a conspiracy to manipulate Treasury auction yields. Even in the limited number of auctions since that time, a break in the pattern has emerged. With one lone exception, yields no longer retreated with the same speed they once did on auction days.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

To contact the author of this story:
Matt Levine at mlevine51@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Zara Kessler at zkessler@bloomberg.net

 

Bloomberg... Bank FX Fine Scorecard (Follow Along at Home!)

18 MAY 20, 2015 6:36 PM EDT

The foreign-exchange settlements are very hard to keep straight so I made a little scoreboard of the various fines that various banks have paid to various regulators:

I hope it's comprehensive! But I probably missed some regulator somewhere. Anyway, $10.3 billion seems like a lower bound on fines paid for FX manipulation.

That is a lot of money. Bank fines feel a bit like abstractions these days, but this is a lot of money even in context. When the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority issues its FX manipulation fines, it makes a determination of "the firm's revenue from the relevant products or business area" over the period of the misconduct. For these settlements, the relevant period seems to be March 2010 to October 2013, and the relevant revenue figures -- as calculated by the FCA -- are:

Honestly I don't know what "relevant revenue" is, so I don't know how useful this context is, but it does sure look like the banks paid much, much more to settle these charges than they made doing the bad stuff.

More context. The U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency puts out a quarterly report on bank trading revenue. From the OCC's numbers, JPMorgan seems to have paid fines equal to just over half of its own total FX trading revenue for the two-and-a-half year period it was involved in FX manipulation. If you use the rule of thumb that half of revenue goes to compensation expense, then JPMorgan would have been better off not having an FX business for those years.

Or some more context: JPMorgan's $1.9 billion in fines seem to be the work mostly of one trader. Oops!

So it's a lot of money. The fines accompany criminal guilty pleas for Citicorp, JPMorgan, Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS. It is easy to say -- and I have said -- that those guilty pleas feel likecuriously weightless things, a cost of doing business rather than a serious deterrent. And today's pleas come with all of the necessary waivers to allow the banks "to continue managing mutual funds and raise capital quickly," meaning that they won't have too many consequences beyond the fines. But the fines are really big! If you are a manager or shareholder of a bank, you would strongly prefer not to pay these fines. But, yes, I know, I know: They keep paying more of them. 

The settlements today, with the Department of Justice and the Federal Reserve and the New York Department of Financial Services and also a few others, are mostly for an antitrust conspiracy conducted in electronic chat rooms where traders from different banks would meet to discuss their client orders. We talked about this six months ago when most of these banks settled similar charges with other regulators. Ordinarily here I would provide you with an assortment of dumb trader quotes, but since I did that six months ago I will skip it today. Also Benjamin Lawsky of the New York Department of Financial Services is preternaturally talented at selecting, boldfacing and underlining dumb trader quotes, so just go read his news release. Just running my eyes down the bold underlined bits I get:

"the 'Cartel'"
"mess this up and sleep with one eye open at night"
"building ammo"
"We gonna help u."
"yes, the less competition the better."
"hard mark up is key . . . but i was taught early . . . u dont have clients . . . u dont make money .  . . so dont be stupid."
"if you aint cheating, you aint trying."

So there you go. Bad chat rooms, bad nicknames, bad spelling, bad quotes.

We discussed the actual conduct at some length in November; I thought it was bad, but not as meaningful as it sounds. The banks agreed to do lots of trades with lots of clients at a fixed price at a fixed time. That created a lot of risk for them, which they managed by trading ahead of the customer fixing. That is a totally normal practice, and one that makes markets more efficient, though it might at first glance look a little fishy. They also got together in chat rooms to, essentially, lay off some of their client risk to one another prior to the fixing. That laying off of client risk, again, looks a bit conspiratorial, but it probably made markets more efficient, and is not obviously bad or illegal. Then they went beyond that efficient laying off of risk, trying to move the price in their favor. They seem to have made some money doing this, at the expense of their clients, but my suspicion was that they were "tinkering at the edges of real supply and demand," optimizing how they made money trading their combined customer order book rather than truly rigging the FX market. 

This is different from the Libor scandal, where banks just made up numbers to help themselves, unconstrained by supply and demand. But it's also different from a classic antitrust conspiracy, where all the sellers of a product conspire to make the product more expensive. These banks were not producing euros and conspiring to drive the price up. They were intermediaries between buyers and sellers of euros, and all they could do was conspire to make some extra money trading on whichever side predominated. But compared with classic antitrust conspirators, their market power was very limited, and they couldn't systematically push exchange rates one way or the other.

Dan Davies also wrote about the chat rooms in November, and if you read one thing about the foreign-exchange scandal it should probably be his post:

I think there’s a danger in viewing everything through the prism of previous scandals. Although there was some behaviour that was clearly on the other side of the line, the regulators also made clear that lots of the practices involved were not intrinsically criminal; this was an investigation into a grey area, not a straightforward case of lying. 

The FX rigging stuff was bad, but it was bad at the edges rather than at its core, and a lot of the most offensive-sounding things -- trading ahead of client orders! sharing client orders with other banks! -- were hardly bad at all.

Today's pleas don't really add much to our understanding of the antitrust stuff. But they also address some miscellaneous non-antitrust misconduct. Hilariously, the Justice Department plea agreements require the banks to send their customers sad little "Disclosure Notices" that say, in part:

The purpose of this notice is to disclose certain practices of [Bank] and its affiliates (together, “[Bank]” or the “Firm”) when it acted as a dealer, on a principal basis, in the spot foreign exchange (“FX”) markets. We want to ensure that there are no ambiguities or misunderstandings regarding those practices.

To begin, conduct by certain individuals has fallen short of the Firm’s expectations. The conduct underlying the criminal antitrust charge by the Department of Justice is unacceptable.

Imagine how hard the banks negotiated to get that form to say "conduct by certain individuals has fallen short of the Firm's expectations." It might as well say "a few bad apples ruined it for the rest of our good hard-working bankers." (As several bank executives did.)

The disclosure notices give limited space to the antitrust stuff, presumably because it's hard to explain in a short space. They spend most of their time on one or more bullet points about non-antitrust violations of the general "ripping customers off" variety. For instanceCiti will be telling its customers that it: 

  • "added markup to price quotes using hand signals and/or other internal arrangements or communications,"
  • "worked limit orders at levels (i.e., prices) better than the limit order price so that we would earn a spread or markup in connection with our execution of such orders," and
  • "made decisions not to fill clients’ limit orders at all, or to fill them only in part, in order to profit from a spread or markup in connection with our execution of such orders."

Ehhh? From the little summaries in the notices, it is hard for me to tell exactly how bad this stuff was. The hand signal stuff, for instance, is spelled out a bit more in UBS's plea:

On occasion, UBS customers requested that a UBS FX salesperson provide them with an “open line” while the salesperson consulted with a UBS FX trading desk to obtain a price. Certain customers requesting an “open line” had an expectation that the price they heard was indeed the “trader price” and therefore did not include any sales markup. Certain customers on such an “open line” sought to be privy to discussions regarding price between the UBS salesperson and the trader working on the desk relevant to the customers’ specified transaction currency. Such customers sought an “open line,” in part, to ensure that they could hear the price quoted directly by the trader—the “trader price”—rather than receiving a price quote that included a sales markup.

Prior to, and continuing after the NPA, certain UBS FX salespeople and traders used hand signals during certain customers’ “open line” calls in order to conceal from customers that they were being marked up. For example, unbeknownst to the customer, a salesperson would hold up two fingers to signal that the trader should add mark up of “two pips” to the quoted price.

Ahahaha what charming rogues! This is: Dishonest! Bad! The sort of thing a client shouldn't like! But it does seem like it's in the category of what the Wall Street Journal last week called "Common Sales Tricks." It's a trick all right! But it's, you know, a sales trick. It's notfraud. The client isn't expecting UBS to tell him the true objective price of the currency. He's expecting UBS to tell him the price that UBS is willing to trade at. He just wants the price that UBS's trader is willing to trade at, not filtered through UBS's salesman. The client thought he was clever, cutting out the filter of the salesman. But the salesman was even cleverer, and pre-filtered the trader.

Ben Lawsky's news release puts it well:

FX Sales employees would determine the appropriate mark-up by calculating the most advantageous rate for Barclays that did not cause the client to question whether executing the transaction with the Bank was a good idea, based on the relationship with the client, recent pricing history, client expectations and other factors.

As one FX Sales employee wrote in a chat to an employee at another bank on December 30, 2009, “hard mark up is key . . . but i was taught early . . . u dont have clients . . . u dont make money .  . . so dont be stupid.”

If you were to ask me to explain the financial services business while standing on one foot, I would say unto you: "Price things at the most advantageous rate for you that does not cause the client to question whether executing the transaction with you is a good idea, this is the whole business, the rest is commentary." This is the problem? The problem is that banks charged clients as much as they could get away with? That is literally capitalism. 

I don't really know what to tell you. There is some genuinely bad stuff here, but it does not feel like we have any reasoned system for evaluating and weighing and punishing the bad stuff. Bank scandals are all one size: Everything is Bad, but no one wants to think about How Bad. Everything is an indictment of bank culture, and anything that any bank does is added to a list of misdeeds that starts in the financial crisis. There's no effort to evaluate how much harm any particular conduct does, or to correlate that harm with the punishment. The penalties, in FX as in Libor, seem to be indexed to how many bad chat messages you sent rather than how much harm you did. These cases lump together cartel price-fixing, and sensible risk management, and failures of best execution, and common sales tricks, and just plain charging as much as the market will bear. Lawsky says that Barclays "engaged in a brazen ‘heads I win, tails you lose’ scheme to rip off their clients." That's what you say about any misconduct, when you don't care what the misconduct was. It doesn't describe the FX scandal at all. 

But of course today's action isn't about FX manipulation. After all, Barclays and UBS are paying Libor-manipulation fines to settle their FX cases. No bank scandal can stand on its own any more; each is added to all the others. The crime that has everyone outraged here, and that has led to record-breaking fines, is not fixing FX rates in chat rooms. It's that the banks that did that also did all the other stuff. We're past the point that anyone cares about the details.

  1. Sources: 

    In a few places I converted pounds and Swiss francs myself.

  2. I'm counting $263 million of Libor-manipulation fines in this total because clearly the Libor fines today against UBS and Barclays were not actually for Libor manipulation, but for the foreign-exchange stuff. The FX stuff caused theDepartment of Justice to tear up UBS's and Barclays' non-prosecution agreements for Libor and fine them an extra $263 million, so I'm counting it here. I'm not counting other manipulations here, like the previous Libor fines, or today's Barclays ISDAfix fine.

  3. It's in paragraph 5.5 of Annex D of the respective Final Notices, e.g. this one for Barclays:

    The Authority considers revenue to be an indicator of the harm or potential harm caused by the breach. The Authority has therefore determined a figure based on a percentage of Barclays’ relevant revenue. The Authority considers that the relevant revenue for the period from 6 March 2010 to 15 October 2013 is £602,000,000.

    There does not seem to be any further explanation of how it got that figure.

  4. That is revenue for JPMorgan Chase Bank NA, not for the holding company; see, e.g., table 7 here. I suppose the holdco FX trading revenue would probably be more. According to the Justice Department, JPMorgan "was involved from at least as early as July 2010 until January 2013," so I'm using 3Q2010 through 1Q2013 numbers.

  5. Of course, if you use that rule of thumb, the traders themselves have different incentives.

  6. I mean, not really. That Wall Street Journal article only attributes today's $892 million to the one guy, though I assume that the November fines relate to the same conduct. Also if you read the JPMorgan plea agreement it mentions salespeople doing the same bad stuff as the other banks admitted to, so it's probably not literally all the one guy. Still, all in all a bad day's work for that guy.

  7. Or there's this, from Dan McCrum at FT Alphaville: "The FT’s running total of legal fines and settlements paid by banks to US regulators since 2007 now comes to $155bn," or $53 million a day for eight years. 

  8. Incidentally, the Justice Department announced "parent-level guilty pleas" from the big banks, but Citi's guilty plea is from Citicorp, which is not the public-company parent. Similarly with RBS. Others are genuine parent-level pleas. I don't know what's going on here. Maybe Citi cleverly switched out its plea agreement when the DOJ wasn't looking?

  9. Barclays did all of its settling today, so it has separate CFTC and FCA settlements today.

  10. As Euromoney puts it, "The fix is a product that is logically not a profitable product unless it is manipulated."

  11. It's Attachment B to most of the plea agreements, e.g. this one for Citi. Alterations in the text are mine. Here's the text of the Citi plea agreement requiring it to send out the notice:

    On a date not later than that on which the defendant pleads guilty (currently scheduled for Wednesday, May 20, 2015), the defendant shall prominently post on its website a retrospective disclosure (“Disclosure Notice”) of its conduct set forth in Paragraph 13 in the form agreed to by the Department (a copy of the Disclosure Notice is attached as Attachment B hereto), and shall maintain the Disclosure Notice on its website during the term of probation. The defendant shall make best efforts to send the Disclosure Notice not later than thirty (30) days after the defendant pleads guilty to its spot FX customers and counterparties, other than customers and counterparties who the defendant can establish solely engaged in buying or selling foreign currency through the defendant’s consumer bank units and not the defendant’s spot FX sales or trading staff.

    Oddly, UBS's plea doesn't seem to involve a disclosure notice, though the plea itself mentions the same sort of conduct.  

  12. Seriously how bad is this? Like obviously the client is expecting an un-marked-up price, and so thwarting his expectations seems straightforwardly dishonest. (In some cases some banks seem to have explicitly denied that they were adding a markup, instead of just implying that by using open lines.) So that's bad. 

    But at the same time, like, the whole point of a salesman is to help a trader understand how aggressive she should be in pricing for a client. Some clients will do everything in competition and fight for every last basis point. Some clients will take whatever price the bank gives them. The salesman tells the trader which clients are which, so the trader knows how to price trades to win the aggressive ones and make money on the complacent ones.

  13. To be fair, as I've said, that seems more reasonable in an antitrust conspiracy case than otherwise. The crime here really was sending messages in a chat room! Called "the Cartel"!

  14. Lawsky:

    Indeed, in a fair and functioning economic market, a business takes on risk in the hopes of earning a profit. However, Barclays’ traders coordinated with other banks to help remove that risk and instead just take profits at the expense of their clients. In other words, it was a “heads I win, tails you lose” trading system for Barclays.

    But, first of all, Barclays was a service provider, not a pure market participant: It was supposed to make a profit on executing client trades. Clients expected it to make a profit. This is like saying that the grocery store has a "heads I win, tails you lose" trading system just because it charges a markup on groceries. It's supposed to charge a markup!

    Second, de-risking the fix (by trading ahead of it) probably was desirable, and not illegal. Third, the banks in the chat room did sometimes lose money on it, and I have serious doubts that they could ever have entirely de-risked it. "Heads I win, tails you lose" is just a standard part of the prosecutor's rhetorical arsenal; it makes no sense here.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg View's editorial board or Bloomberg LP, its owners and investors.

To contact the author on this story:
Matt Levine at mlevine51@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor on this story:
Zara Kessler at zkessler@bloomberg.net

 
 

lawsuit.pdf

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK CLEVELAND BAKERS AND TEAMSTERS PENSION FUND, CLEVELAND BAKERS AND TEAMSTERS HEALTH AND WELFARE FUND, AND MASTERINVEST KAPITALANLAGE GMBH, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs, vs. BANK OF NOVA SCOTIA, NEW YORK AGENCY; BMO CAPITAL MARKETS CORP.; BNP PARIBAS SECURITIES CORP.; BARCLAYS CAPITAL INC.; CANTOR FITZGERALD & CO.; CITIGROUP GLOBAL MARKETS INC.; COMMERZ MARKETS LLC; COUNTRYWIDE SECURITIES CORP.; CREDIT SUISSE SECURITIES (USA) LLC; DAIWA CAPITAL MARKETS AMERICA INC.; DEUTSCHE BANK SECURITIES INC.; GOLDMAN, SACHS & CO.; HSBC SECURITIES (USA) INC.; JEFFERIES LLC; J.P. MORGAN SECURITIES LLC; MERRILL LYNCH, PIERCE, FENNER & SMITH INCORPORATED; MERRILL LYNCH GOVERNMENT SECURITIES INC.; MIZUHO SECURITIES USA INC.; MORGAN STANLEY & CO. LLC; NOMURA SECURITIES INTERNATIONAL, INC.; RBC CAPITAL MARKETS, LLC; RBS SECURITIES INC.; SG AMERICAS SECURITIES, LLC; TD SECURITIES (USA) LLC; and UBS SECURITIES LLC, Defendants. Case No. CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT JURY TRIAL DEMANDED Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 1 of 85 i TABLE OF CONTENTS NATURE OF THE ACTION ..........................................................................................................1 JURISDICTION AND VENUE ......................................................................................................5 THE PARTIES.................................................................................................................................6 A. Plaintiffs...................................................................................................................6 B. Defendants ...............................................................................................................7 BACKGROUND ON THE U.S. TREASURIES MARKETS ......................................................12 A. General Background on Treasury Securities .........................................................12 C. Before an Auction: The When-Issued Market......................................................13 D. Treasuries Auctions ...............................................................................................13 E. Treasury Futures, Options, and Interest Rate Swaps.............................................18 FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS OF WRONGDOING .....................................................................20 I. ECONOMIC ANALYSES CONFIRM DEFENDANTS WERE INFLATING YIELDS (AND SUPPRESSING PRICES) IN THE TREASURIES AUCTION.............20 A. Auction Yields Were Too High (i.e., Prices in the Auction Were Too Low), As Evidenced by Yields for Essentially the Same Instruments Available Elsewhere ..............................................................................................21 1. Auction yields were too high/prices were too low as seen by comparing yields at the same moment in time to the secondary market for comparable Treasuries .............................................................21 2. Auction yields were too high/prices were too low as seen by comparing yields at the same moment in time to the secondary market for the exact same Treasuries.........................................................25 B. The Market Suspiciously Moved in Defendants’ Favor Following the Auction Far Too Often to Be the Result of Natural Phenomena ...........................27 1. Defendants were consistently able to turn and sell the Treasuries for a profit ..................................................................................................27 2. Movements in post-auction yields/prices cannot be explained away by general market trends............................................................................30 Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 2 of 85 ii C. Yields In The Supposedly Predictive “When-Issued” Market Consistently Underestimated Auction Yields, Again Showing Defendants Were Obtaining An Artificial Bargain ............................................................................33 II. MANIPULATION OF THE FUTURES AND SECONDARY MARKETS WAS PART AND PARCEL OF DEFENDANTS’ SCHEME ...................................................39 III. THE ANOMALOUS PRICE MOVEMENTS WERE THE RESULT OF DEFENDANTS’ CONSPIRACY......................................................................................44 A. Price Artificiality Went Hand-in-Hand With Defendants “Winning” in the Auction...................................................................................................................45 B. Following the Announcement of the DOJ’s Treasuries Investigation, Signs of Artificiality Dissipated ......................................................................................47 C. Defendants Did Not Seek to Hedge Risk Around the Auctions the Way They Did At Other Times......................................................................................49 D. Other “Plus Factors” Indicative of Collusion ........................................................50 IV. GOVERNMENT INVESTIGATIONS PROVIDE FURTHER EVIDENCE OF DEFENDANTS’ CULPABILITY.....................................................................................55 A. The Dam Breaks: Economic “Screens” Like Those Here Prompt (Successful) Investigations into the Rigging of Libor, an Interest-Rate Benchmark .............................................................................................................56 B. The Banks’ Collusion to Manipulate the ISDAfix USA Interest-Rate Benchmark Reveals Evidence of Treasuries Manipulation ...................................58 C. The Banks’ Brazenness Is Further Revealed by Investigations into the FX Market....................................................................................................................60 D. Investigations Into Manipulation of the Gold Market ...........................................62 V. PLAINTIFFS AND MEMBERS OF THE CLASS WERE INJURED BY DEFENDANTS’ ANTICOMPETITIVE CONDUCT ......................................................64 A. Summary of Plaintiffs’ Injuries .............................................................................64 B. Defendants’ Conduct Restrained Trade And Decreased Competition ..................65 VI. CLASS ACTION ALLEGATIONS ..................................................................................67 VII. EQUITABLE TOLLING OF THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS DUE TO DEFENDANTS’ CONCEALMENT OF THE CONSPIRACY .......................................69 CAUSES OF ACTION..................................................................................................................73 Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 3 of 85 iii PRAYER FOR RELIEF ................................................................................................................79 DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL .....................................................................................................80 Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 4 of 85 1 Plaintiffs Cleveland Bakers and Teamsters Pension Fund, Cleveland Bakers and Teamsters Health and Welfare Fund, and MASTERINVEST Kapitalanlage GmbH (collectively, “Plaintiffs”), individually and on behalf of all those similarly situated, as defined below, bring this class action for treble damages and allege as follows: NATURE OF THE ACTION 1. Since the founding of the United States, a cornerstone of the government’s financing of its operations has been the borrowing of money. The United States Treasury borrows money by selling various types of debt instruments—including short-term Treasury bills, medium-term Treasury notes, and long-term Treasury bonds (collectively, “Treasuries” or “Treasury Securities”). These sales take place in market auctions conducted throughout the year. A select group of banks—known as “primary dealers”—bids in every one of those auctions. The primary dealers occupy a privileged position in those auctions, and are the largest collective group of Treasury purchasers. According to a former government bond trader at one of those primary dealers, Defendant Merrill Lynch, “primary dealers are an insiders club.” 1 2. Although the auction process is premised on the primary dealers engaging in vigorous and honest competition in placing their bids, leading to a fair price for the Treasuries, the primary dealers (Defendants in this action) abused their position of trust. Instead of competing with each other at arms’ length, the Defendant members of this select group, to the detriment of the United States and investors in the secondary and derivatives markets (Plaintiffs and Class members here), conspired artificially to drive up the yield of the Treasuries (and 1 Scaggs, Kruger & Geiger, “As U.S. Probes $12.7 Trillion Treasury Market, Trader Talk Is a Good Place to Start,” Bloomberg.com (June 24, 2015) (available at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-06-24/trader-talk-is-an-open-secret-as-u-sprobes-treasuries). Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 5 of 85 2 correspondingly to drive down the prices of those Treasuries).2 Defendants then turned around and sold the Treasuries at higher prices (and correspondingly lower yields) in the secondary markets, reaping substantial profits. 3. Earlier this summer, it was reported that the U.S. Department of Justice had commenced an investigation into Defendants’ misconduct. According to a Bloomberg article published on June 24, 2015: The U.S. federal probe that ended last month with guilty pleas and $6 billion in fines from global banks began with an open secret—that currency traders there could talk to each other to coordinate trades. Now, the Justice Department unit behind those prosecutions is turning its sights on the $12.7 trillion U.S. Treasury market, a world with some of its own open secrets. Dozens of times a year before the Treasury holds an auction, salespeople at 22 primary dealers field billions of dollars in bids for government debt. Traders working at some of those financial institutions have the opportunity to learn specifics of those bids hours ahead of the auctions, according to several people familiar with these operations. Traders at some of these dealers also have talked with counterparts at other banks via online chatrooms, according people familiar with the operations, with one of them adding that the traders swapped gossip about clients’ Treasury orders as recently as last year. Such conversations, both inside banks and among them, could give traders information useful for making bets on one of the most powerful drivers of global markets, the U.S. debt sales that often sway the prices of trillions of dollars worth of bonds.3 4. Victims of Defendants’ scheme include the United States Treasury (which borrowed at higher rates due to the tainted auctions or, in the case of reissuances, received less 2 “Yield” refers to the income return of an investment. For fixed income securities like Treasuries, the most basic calculation for yield is to divide the coupon amount by the security’s price. Holding coupon rate constant, this means that when prices go down, the yield goes up and vice versa. 3 See Scaggs, Kruger & Geiger, supra. Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 6 of 85 3 than it should have in the auctions), sellers of Treasuries in various secondary markets for Treasuries and in markets for Treasury derivatives (where prices were temporarily suppressed to hide and to facilitate Defendants’ artificial auction bids), and floating rate payers on Treasurylinked interest rate swaps or other instruments for which the cash flows were tied to the results of a Treasury auction. This complaint seeks recovery on behalf of those thousands of nongovernmental victims for Defendants’ violation of U.S. antitrust laws. 5. While the Department of Justice’s investigation apparently remains ongoing, Plaintiffs herein have conducted their own exhaustive review of Defendants’ conduct, and that review is described in this Complaint. It shows that, around the time of auction, prices in the primary market were repeatedly lower (and yields higher) than they would have been in a competitive auction, and that the only explanation for the disparity is that Defendants conspired through online chatrooms and a variety of other means of coordination to achieve those artificial outcomes. 6. More specifically, Plaintiffs have employed “screens,” which are statistical tools based on economic models that use data such as prices, bids, quotes, spreads, market shares, and volumes to identify the existence, causes, and scope of manipulation, collusion, or other illegal behavior. This method of analysis is well accepted as reliable by economists and policy makers; for example, it was one of the tools employed to demonstrate that certain banks had improperly colluded to set an interest rate known as Libor, and separately to demonstrate that certain banks had improperly manipulated foreign exchange benchmarks. 7. Here, these analyses reveal a consistent pattern: Treasury auction yields were artificially high (and prices correspondingly low) from at least 2007 through early June 2015, Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 7 of 85 4 when the Department of Justice’s investigation was announced and Defendants curtailed their improper conduct. 8. To take one example (many others are described in the body of this Complaint), Plaintiffs examined what are known as “reissued” Treasuries. In this scenario, the United States Treasury sells a security at auction, and then later sells the exact same security (i.e., a Treasury Security with the same principal amount and the same maturity date) in a later auction.4 By the time of the later auction, the Treasury Securities that were sold in the earlier auction are already trading in the secondary market. Accordingly, it is possible to compare the yield/price of the identical security at the same point in time at the auction in which Defendants had an “insider” position. If the yields at the auction were repeatedly higher than the yields in the secondary market, it would demonstrate that Defendants were artificially increasing the auction yields (correspondingly suppressing prices). Conversely, if both the auction and the secondary markets were truly competitive, the yield for the security would be substantially similar in both markets, or at least vary in a random fashion. 9. The data shows that the yields for these identical securities indeed repeatedly diverged as between the auction and secondary markets, almost always in the direction of a higher yield (lower price) in the auction relative to the lower yield (higher price) in the secondary market. Across all tenors (i.e., lengths of time to maturity) of Treasuries, the yields of reissued Treasuries in the primary market were inflated in 69% of the auctions, by 0.91 basis points, a clearly significant disparity. This repeated bias cannot be explained as a result of random 4 Reissued Treasuries also have the same coupon rate as the previously-issued security. For reissued securities, price is thus the variable that is determined at the auction, and which was directly manipulated by Defendants. Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 8 of 85 5 chance; instead, the only plausible explanation is that Defendants coordinated artificially to influence the results of the auctions in the primary market. 10. This is just one example of anomalous economic data. Indeed, these and the other data analyses discussed herein confirm that Defendants took full advantage of their privileged position as primary dealers at the Treasury auctions. As Duke Law School Professor James Cox, an expert on financial markets, has observed, “[i]n the Treasury market, where you have a small number of participants and the sales volume is very high, it is a fertile area for harmful collusive behavior.” 5 Defendants should be held to account under United States antitrust laws for the injuries they have caused. JURISDICTION AND VENUE 11. This Court has subject matter jurisdiction over this action pursuant to Sections 4 and 16 of the Clayton Act (15 U.S.C. §§ 15(a) and 26), Section 22 of the Commodity Exchange Act (7 U.S.C. § 25), and pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1337(a). This Court also has jurisdiction over the state law claims under 28 U.S.C. § 1367 because those claims are so related to the federal claims that they form part of the same case or controversy, and under 28 U.S.C. § 1332, because the amount in controversy for the Class exceeds $5,000,000 and there are members of the Class who are citizens of a different state than Defendants. 12. Venue is proper in this District pursuant to 15 U.S.C. §§ 15(a), 22 and 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b), (c), (d) because during the Class Period all Defendants resided, transacted business, were found, or had agents in this District; a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to these claims occurred in this District; and a substantial portion of the affected interstate trade and commerce discussed herein has been carried out in this District. 5 See Scaggs, Kruger & Geiger, supra. Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 9 of 85 6 13. This Court has personal jurisdiction over each Defendant, because each Defendant: transacted business throughout the United States, including in this District; had substantial contacts with the United States, including in this District; committed overt acts in furtherance of their illegal scheme and conspiracy in the United States; and/or is an agent of the other Defendants. In addition, the Defendants’ conspiracy was directed at, and had the intended effect of, causing injury to persons residing in, located in, or doing business throughout the United States, including in this District. 14. The activities of Defendants and their co-conspirators were within the flow of, were intended to, and did have a substantial effect on the foreign and interstate commerce of the United States. THE PARTIES A. Plaintiffs 15. Plaintiff Cleveland Bakers and Teamsters Pension Fund is a collectivelybargained pension fund, established in 1962, which administers benefits for thousands of participants. Cleveland Bakers and Teamsters Pension Fund has almost ten thousand participants, and hundreds of millions of dollars in assets. The Fund is located at 9665 Rockside Road, Suite D, Valley View, Ohio 44125. Cleveland Bakers and Teamsters Pension Fund transacted in U.S. Treasury Securities and U.S. Treasury Investments on auction days during the Class Period at manipulated and anticompetitive prices that resulted from Defendants’ illegal conduct. As a direct and proximate result of Defendants’ illegal acts, Cleveland Bakers and Teamsters Pension Fund suffered injury to its business and property. 16. Plaintiff Cleveland Bakers and Teamsters Health and Welfare Fund is a collectively-bargained health and welfare fund, established in 1952, which administers benefits for thousands of participants. Cleveland Bakers and Teamsters Health and Welfare Fund has Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 10 of 85 7 almost six thousand participants and tens of millions of dollars in assets. The Fund is located at 9665 Rockside Road, Suite C, Valley View, Ohio 44125. Cleveland Bakers and Teamsters Health and Welfare Fund transacted in U.S. Treasury Securities and U.S. Treasury Investments on auction days during the Class Period at manipulated and anticompetitive prices that resulted from Defendants’ illegal conduct. As a direct and proximate result of Defendants’ illegal acts, Cleveland Bakers and Teamsters Health and Welfare Fund suffered injury to its business and property. 17. Plaintiff MASTERINVEST Kapitalanlage GmbH is an Austrian investment company. It was founded in 1985 as HYPO-Kapitalanlage-Gesellschaft m.b.H. by Austria’s eight state mortgage banks and changed its name in 2010. MASTERINVEST has approximately $7.5 billion in assets under management. It is located at Landstraßer Hauptstraße 1 / Top 27, Vienna/Austria. MASTERINVEST transacted in U.S. Treasury Securities and U.S. Treasury Investments on auction days during the Class Period at manipulated and anticompetitive prices that resulted from Defendants’ illegal conduct. These transactions were executed on U.S.-based exchanges, and/or using U.S.-based brokers. As a direct and proximate result of Defendants’ illegal acts, MASTERINVEST suffered injury to its business and property. B. Defendants 18. Whenever in this Complaint reference is made to any Defendant entity, such reference includes that entity, its parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates, predecessors, and successors. In addition, whenever in this Complaint reference is made to any act, deed, or transaction of any Defendant entity, the allegation means that the entity engaged in the act, deed, or transaction by or through its officers, directors, agents, employees, or representatives while they were actively engaged in the management, direction, control, or transaction of the entity’s business or affairs. Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 11 of 85 8 19. Defendant Bank of Nova Scotia, New York Agency (“BNS”) is a financial services company with its principal place of business in New York, New York. BNS is a New York State agency of The Bank of Nova Scotia. BNS is a registered primary dealer for Treasury Securities with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (“New York Fed”). 20. Defendant Barclays Capital Inc. (“Barclays”) is a financial services company incorporated in Connecticut, with its principal place of business in New York, New York. Barclays is a registered primary dealer for Treasury Securities with the New York Fed. 21. Defendant BMO Capital Markets Corp. (“BMO”) is a financial services company incorporated in Delaware, with its principal place of business in New York, New York. BMO is a registered primary dealer for Treasury Securities with the New York Fed. 22. Defendant BNP Paribas Securities Corp. (“BNPP”) is a financial services company incorporated in Delaware, with its principal place of business in New York, New York. BNPP is a registered primary dealer for Treasury Securities with the New York Fed. 23. Defendant Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. (“Cantor”) is a financial services company organized under the laws of New York, with its principal place of business in New York, New York. Cantor is a registered primary dealer for Treasury Securities with the New York Fed. 24. Defendant Citigroup Global Markets Inc. (“Citi”) is a financial services company incorporated in New York, with its principal place of business in New York, New York. Citi is a registered primary dealer for Treasury Securities with the New York Fed. 25. Defendant Commerz Markets LLC (“Commerz”), formerly known as Dresdner Kleinwort Securities LLC, is a financial services company incorporated in Delaware with its principal place of business in New York, New York. Commerz, under its former name, was a Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 12 of 85 9 registered primary dealer for Treasury Securities with the New York Fed during the Class Period. 26. Defendant Countrywide Securities Corp. (“Countrywide”) is a financial services company incorporated in Delaware with its principal place of business in Calabasas, California. Countrywide is now a part of Bank of America. Countrywide was a registered primary dealer for Treasury Securities with the New York Fed during the Class Period. 27. Defendant Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC (“Credit Suisse”), formerly known as Credit Suisse First Boston LLC, is a financial services company formed under the laws of Delaware, with its principal place of business in New York, New York. Credit Suisse is a registered primary dealer for Treasury Securities with the New York Fed. 28. Defendant Daiwa Capital Markets America Inc. (“Daiwa”), formerly known as Daiwa Securities America Inc., is a financial services company incorporated in New York, with its principal place of business in New York, New York. Daiwa is a registered primary dealer for Treasury Securities with the New York Fed. 29. Defendant Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. (“Deutsche Bank”) is a financial services company incorporated in Delaware, with its principal place of business in New York, New York. Deutsche Bank is a registered primary dealer for Treasury Securities with the New York Fed. 30. Defendant Goldman, Sachs & Co. (“Goldman”) is a financial services company formed under the laws of New York, with its principal place of business in New York, New York. Goldman is a registered primary dealer for Treasury Securities with the New York Fed. Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 13 of 85 10 31. Defendant HSBC Securities (USA) Inc. (“HSBC”) is a financial services company incorporated in Delaware, with its principal place of business in New York, New York. HSBC is a registered primary dealer for Treasury Securities with the New York Fed. 32. Defendant Jefferies LLC (“Jefferies”), formerly known as Jefferies & Company, Inc., is a financial services company formed under the laws of Delaware, with its principal place of business in New York, New York. Jefferies is a registered primary dealer for Treasury Securities with the New York Fed. 33. Defendant J.P. Morgan Securities LLC (“JPMorgan”), formerly known as J.P. Morgan Securities Inc., is a financial services company formed under the laws of Delaware, with its principal place of business in New York, New York. JPMorgan is a registered primary dealer for Treasury Securities with the New York Fed. 34. Defendant Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (“Merrill Lynch”), formerly known as Banc of America Securities LLC, is a financial services company incorporated in Delaware, with its principal place of business in New York, New York. Merrill Lynch is a registered primary dealer for Treasury Securities with the New York Fed. 35. Defendant Merrill Lynch Government Securities Inc. (“MLGS”) is a financial services company with its principal place of business in New York, New York. MLGS is now a part of Bank of America Corporation. MLGS was a registered primary dealer for Treasury Securities with the New York Fed during the Class Period. 36. Defendant Mizuho Securities USA Inc. (“Mizuho”) is a financial services company incorporated in Delaware, with its principal place of business in New York, New York. Mizuho is a registered primary dealer for Treasury Securities with the New York Fed. Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 14 of 85 11 37. Defendant Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC (“Morgan Stanley”), formerly known as Morgan Stanley & Co., is a financial services company formed under the laws of Delaware, with its principal place of business in New York, New York. Morgan Stanley is a registered primary dealer for Treasury Securities with the New York Fed. 38. Defendant Nomura Securities International, Inc. (“Nomura”) is a financial services company incorporated in New York, with its principal place of business in New York, New York. Nomura is a registered primary dealer for Treasury Securities with the New York Fed. 39. Defendant RBC Capital Markets, LLC (“RBC”), formerly known as RBC Capital Markets Corp., is a financial services company formed under the laws of Minnesota, with offices and a registered agent in New York, New York. RBC is a registered primary dealer for Treasury Securities with the New York Fed. 40. Defendant RBS Securities Inc. (“RBS”) is a financial services company incorporated in Delaware, with its principal place of business in Stamford, Connecticut. RBS is a registered primary dealer for Treasury Securities with the New York Fed. 41. Defendant SG Americas Securities, LLC (“SG”) is a financial services company formed under the laws of Delaware, with its principal place of business in New York, New York. SG is a registered primary dealer for Treasury Securities with the New York Fed. 42. Defendant TD Securities (USA) LLC (“TD Securities”) is a financial services company formed under the laws of Delaware, with its principal place of business in New York, New York. TD Securities is a registered primary dealer for Treasury Securities with the New York Fed. Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 15 of 85 12 43. Defendant UBS Securities LLC (“UBS”) is a financial services company formed under the laws of Delaware, with its principal place of business in New York, New York. UBS is a registered primary dealer for Treasury Securities with the New York Fed. 44. Various other entities and individuals unknown to Plaintiffs at this time— including other major Treasury Securities dealers—participated as co-conspirators in the acts complained of, and performed acts and made statements that aided and abetted and were in furtherance of the unlawful conduct alleged herein. BACKGROUND ON THE U.S. TREASURIES MARKETS A. General Background on Treasury Securities 45. Treasury Securities are debt instruments issued by the U.S. Government. They are one of the primary ways the United States borrows to finance the federal government’s operations. Because Treasury Securities are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States, their risk of default is considered one of the lowest—if the not the lowest—in the world. 46. Treasury Securities are used for investing and hedging purposes, and are also used as widely recognized benchmarks for pricing other types of assets. Rates for variable-rate bonds, asset-backed securities, student-loan debt, interest-rate swaps, and other instruments all are directly tied to or otherwise directly influenced by what happens with the Treasuries market. 47. There are currently more than $12.5 trillion in Treasuries outstanding. In 2004, the U.S. Treasury Department issued $3.9 trillion in Treasuries. In comparison, just for last year alone, the Treasury issued more than $7 trillion. 48. Treasuries come in a wide range of maturities, from as short as a few days to as long as 30 years. Treasury Securities with maturities of one year or less are referred to as Treasury bills or T-bills; securities with maturities of between one and ten years are referred to as Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 16 of 85 13 Treasury notes or T-notes; and securities with maturities of greater than ten years are called Treasury bonds or T-bonds. 6 C. Before an Auction: The When-Issued Market 49. Before a given Treasury issuance, there is an active market for the to-be issued securities. This “when-issued” market begins at the time the Treasury announces that an auction will take place, and continues until the auction actually concludes. 50. In the when-issued market, participants (including Defendants) buy and sell obligations to deliver the Treasuries once they are issued after the conclusion of the auction. If someone “sells” in the when-issued market, it must be able to cover its short position by eventually obtaining the necessary Treasuries, either through the auction itself or on the secondary market. If someone “buys” in the when-issued market, it is obligated to pay the previously agreed-upon price and take possession of the Treasuries, regardless of how the auction itself actually unfolds. 51. Even though the when-issued market begins upon announcement (usually, around seven days prior to the auction), nearly half of all trading in the when-issued market occurs within the two days prior to the auction. D. Treasuries Auctions 52. When held. The Treasury Department sells new securities through a regular auction process: 6 The Treasury Department also issues more specialized securities, including Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (“TIPS”), cash management bills (“CMBs”), and Floating Rate Notes (“FRNs”). With TIPS, the principal amount of debt adjusts according to whether there is inflation or deflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index. Upon maturity, TIPS holders are paid the adjusted principal or the original principal, whichever is greater. CMBs are occasionally offered by the Treasury Department to meet short-term financing needs, with their maturities ranging from 1-day to approximately 1-year. However, most are issued with maturities of less than three months. Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 17 of 85 14 Security Time of Offering 4-week T-bills Weekly (Tuesdays) 13-week and 26-week T-bills Weekly (Mondays) 52-week T-bills Every 4 weeks (Tuesdays) 2-year T-notes Monthly (end of month) 3-year T-notes Monthly (middle of month) 5-year T-notes Monthly (end of month) 7-year T-notes Monthly (end of month) 10-year T-notes Monthly (middle of month) 30-year T-bonds Monthly (middle of month) 5-year TIPS Three times per year (April, August, December) 10-year TIPS Bimonthly (January, March, May, July, September, November) 30-year TIPS Three times per year (February, June, October) 2-year FRN Monthly (end of month) 53. Who participates. There are three general categories of competitive bidders in the Treasury auctions: primary dealers, direct bidders, and indirect bidders. 54. Defendants here were each a designed primary dealer for all or part of the Class Period. Primary dealers trade in Treasuries with the New York Fed. By virtue of their ability to bid on behalf of themselves and indirect bidders, as well as their dominant share of the auction process, primary dealers, unlike other participants in the market, are uniquely situated to see order flows and estimate demand for any given Treasury auction issuance. 55. The primary dealers are required to bid at least their pro rata share of the offered securities in order to guarantee demand for the securities.7 Under its “Business Standards” for primary dealers, the New York Fed states that a primary dealer’s “bid rates should be reasonable when compared to the range of rates in the market, taking into account market volatility and 7 No one primary dealer may obtain more than 35% of an issue of a Treasury. The Treasury considers “any persons or entities that intentionally act together with respect to bidding in a Treasury auction to collectively be one bidder.” Thus, if (as alleged herein) Defendants acted as a bloc to obtain certain Treasury auction yields, then they violated their obligations to the Treasury each time they collectively obtained more than 35% of newly issued Treasuries. Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 18 of 85 15 other risk factors. In other open market operations, the [New York Fed] will expect a primary dealer to bid, or otherwise participate, in operations at levels commensurate with its size and presence in the market.” If primary dealers “repeatedly provide bids and offers in the New York Fed operations or Treasury auctions that are not reasonably competitive, or that fail to provide useful market information and commentary,” then such dealers “are not meeting the New York Fed’s expectations of a primary dealer. In those situations, the New York Fed may limit a primary dealer’s access to any or all of the primary dealer facilities or operations, and may suspend or terminate a primary dealer if it continues to fail to meet these business standards.” 8 In return for the commitment to make a bid, within the applicable rules, primary dealers enjoy the right to act as market makers, which entails a number of significant financial benefits. 56. As seen in the below chart, the primary dealers as a group are the largest recipients of Treasuries within the auction process.9 8 Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Operating Policy: Administration of Relationships with Primary Dealers (Jan. 11, 2010) (available at http://www.newyorkfed.org/ markets/pridealers_policies.html). Defendants also belong to the Treasury Market Practices Group (“TMPG”), a working group of Treasury dealers and other market participants sponsored by the New York Fed. The TMPG issues a series of “best practices” guidelines that set forth standards of conduct for primary dealers that are meant to ensure true competition and market liquidity and integrity for Treasuries. 9 See also Michael J. Fleming, Who Buys Treasury Securities at Auction?, Current Issues in Economics & Finance, Vol. 13, No. 1, at 2 (Jan. 2007) (available at http://www.newyorkfed.org/research/current_issues/ci13-1.pdf). Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 19 of 85 16 Maturity Average Offering Amount (Net of Noncompetive Allocation) Average Offering Purchased by Primary Dealers Average Percentage of Offering Allocated to Primary Dealers 1 M $20,077,391,442 $9,150,061,273 46% 3 M $29,507,514,381 $19,572,719,647 66% 6 M $24,089,022,746 $13,840,631,961 57% 1 Y $31,343,324,807 $16,789,651,831 54% 2 Y $13,705,793,519 $6,345,991,782 46% 3 Y $25,723,648,768 $17,031,129,445 66% 5 Y $31,132,815,787 $15,223,332,422 49% 7 Y $31,301,062,101 $14,740,381,636 47% 10Y $24,133,398,980 $13,515,333,707 56% 30Y $28,985,316,545 $11,976,723,234 41% Primary Dealers' Purchases in Treasury Auctions 2007-2015 57. A smaller volume of the securities is purchased at each auction by the second category of competitive bidders, dealers other than primary dealers, and individual investors that bid directly. The third category are indirect bidders, who bid on Treasuries through the primary dealers as intermediaries. Indirect bidders typically include foreign central banks, but can also include domestic money managers making bids through primary dealers. 58. How the auction unfolds. The Treasury Department typically announces its auctions one week in advance.10 Participants submit bids through the Treasury Automated Auction Processing System (“TAAPS”). Bids are supposed to be confidential, and can be either non-competitive or competitive. 59. Non-competitive bids are generally submitted by small investors and individuals. Non-competitive bidding typically closes at 11:00 a.m. ET for bills and FRNs and 12:00 p.m. ET for notes, bonds, and TIPS. Non-competitive bidders are guaranteed to receive securities at the auction, but individual non-competitive bidders are limited by federal regulation to $5 million 10 The auctions announcements provide, among other things: (1) the amount of the security being offered; (2) the auction date; (3) the date of delivery of the auctioned securities; (4) the maturity date; (4) the terms and conditions of the offering; and (5) the noncompetitive and competitive bidding close times. Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 20 of 85 17 per auction. With a non-competitive bid, a bidder agrees to accept the discount rate (in the case of bills) or yield rate (in the case of notes, bonds, FRNs and TIPS) determined at auction. 60. Competitive bids are typically submitted by large financial institutions, including Defendants, for their own accounts or on behalf of customers. Competitive bidding typically closes at 11:30 a.m. ET for T-bills and FRNs, and 1:00 p.m. ET for T-notes, T-bonds, and TIPS. The bids are submitted in terms of a discount rate for bills and a yield for coupon-bearing securities, stated in three decimal places. Winning bids are assessed by determining which bidders offered the lowest yields—and thus, the highest prices—on the offered security. 61. Winning bids are determined by first subtracting the non-competitive bids from the offering amount to arrive at the pool of securities available for competitive bidders. Treasuries are then allocated to the competitive bidders. “Winning” bidders are determined based on which bidder will accept the lowest yield (i.e., highest price) for its purchase. TAAPS works its way down the list of competitive bids and accepts competitive bids in ascending order of their rate, yield, or discount margin (as applicable; lowest to highest) until the quantity of awarded bids reaches the offering amount. All bidders then receive the same rate, yield, or discount margin at the highest accepted bid. 62. Upon completion of an auction, the Treasury Department publishes limited information about the auction results.11 Of particular importance, it does not identify the winners or their bids. 11 This includes: (1) as applicable, the discount rate or interest rate; (2) the price; (3) the highest yield offered; (4) percentage of Treasuries allotted at the high yield; (5) the median yield offered; (6) the low yield offered; (7) aggregate figures of bids tendered and accepted at both competitive and non-competitive auctions; and (8) figures breaking down the bids tendered and accepted based on bidder type (e.g., primary dealer, direct bidder, and indirect bidder) Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 21 of 85 18 63. Treasuries from the most recent auctions are called “on-the-run securities.” Securities from older auctions are called “off-the-run securities.” E. Treasury Futures, Options, and Interest Rate Swaps 64. Many instruments bought and sold by market participants are linked to the yields/prices of Treasury Securities at and after auction. These include Treasury futures, Treasury options and certain types of interest rate swaps. 65. Treasury futures are typically traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (“CME”). In 2013, the average daily volume of Treasury futures traded on the CME was 2.69 million contracts, with a notional value in excess of $250 billion.12 66. As with all futures, there are two sides to any Treasury futures transaction: a long (buy) side and short (sell) side. The holder of the short position agrees to deliver the underlying Treasury Security at the expiry of the futures contract, and the holder of the long position agrees to take delivery at expiry. Short-sellers, if they choose to effect a physical settlement, must cover their short position by transacting in the open market for Treasury Securities that will satisfy the terms of delivery. 67. Instead of effecting a physical settlement, many future market participants will instead enter into offsetting positions. For example, if a short seller wishes to close out a position without delivery of the actual Treasury Securities, it can simply enter into an offsetting long position. The difference between the values of its short and long positions will determine whether it lost or gained money on the trade. 13 This can be done because futures are done over 12 There are six types of Treasury futures traded on the CME: (i) Ultra US Treasury Bond Futures; (ii) Bond Futures; (iii) 10-year Note Futures; (iv) 5-year Note Futures; (v) 3-year Note Futures; and (vi) 2-year Note Futures. 13 Treasury futures cover not only different issuances of the same maturity (e.g., 10- year notes from May 2003 and 10-year notes from May 2004), they also cover issuances of different maturities. For example, delivery of the underlying Treasury security in 10-year Note Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 22 of 85 19 the exchange—i.e., the clearinghouse acts as the buyer to ever seller, and the seller to every buyer, allowing investors to “net out” positions because the counterparty on every position is technically the same. 68. Treasury futures prices are directly correlated to the yields/prices of Treasury Securities and, in a properly-functioning market, help act as one of the market’s best predictive tools of upcoming Treasury auction yields/prices. Defendants used the futures market as part of their scheme to inflate the auction yields/suppress the auction prices, directly impacting investors in such markets. 69. Treasury options include over-the-counter (“OTC”) options on a given Treasury security or options on Treasury futures contracts. Options on Treasury futures contracts are traded on the CME and the underlying security for these options contracts is one Treasury future. 70. OTC options and options on Treasury futures can be written as either “calls” or “puts.” A call option gives the holder the right, but not the obligation, to buy a certain Treasury futures contract at a specified price, known as the “strike price,” prior to or at some date in the future, when the option contract “expires.” One may either (a) buy a call option, paying a negotiated price or premium to the seller, writer or grantor of the call, or (b) sell, write, or grant a call, thereby receiving that premium. 71. Conversely, a put option gives the holder the right, but not the obligation, to sell a Treasury futures contract at the strike price prior to or at the expiration of the option contract. Futures can be satisfied with a Treasury note with a “remaining term to maturity” of between 6.5 and 10 years, which would include issuances of 7-year T-notes as well as 10-year T-notes. As a result, decisions as to what Treasury security to actually deliver for these futures must factor in the different coupons associated with these various Treasury issuances. This is done by industrystandard “conversion factors.” Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 23 of 85 20 Similarly, one may buy or sell a put option, either paying or receiving a negotiated premium or price. 72. Because Treasury option contracts are priced on the same underlying Treasury Securities as the corresponding Treasury futures, the prices of options on these futures contracts are also directly impacted by Treasury security yields/prices in the same way as Treasury future prices. 73. In an interest-rate swap, two parties exchange interest rate payments on an agreed notional amount for a fixed period of time. Typically, one party will pay based on a “fixed” interest rate on the notional amount that does not vary from one payment to the next, while the other party will pay based on a variable “floating” interest rate on the same notional amount that is tied to an independent benchmark. Certain types of these swaps use yields from the Treasuries auctions to calculate amounts due on the “floating” leg. Manipulation of the auction yields thus directly impacted the cash-flows—and thus the value of—such swaps. FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS OF WRONGDOING I. ECONOMIC ANALYSES CONFIRM DEFENDANTS WERE INFLATING YIELDS (AND SUPPRESSING PRICES) IN THE TREASURIES AUCTION 74. As has been well-documented by Congressional testimony and academic publications, “screens” are statistical tools based on economic models that use data such as prices, bids, quotes, spreads, market shares, and volumes to identify the existence, causes, and scope of manipulation, collusion, or other illegal behavior. For instance, “screens” were part of an analysis that led to the discovery of the Libor rate-setting scandal that is still roiling the banking industry. In the context of Libor, journalists and economists uncovered anomalous behavior in the benchmark as compared to movements in other publically available data points Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 24 of 85 21 (data points that were independent of the banks’ purported individualized judgment).14 Screens also led to the initial detection, in the summer of 2013, of foreign exchange benchmark collusion and manipulation, which resulted in over $3 billion in settlements by banks in the U.S., the U.K., and Switzerland in November 2014.15 75. The use of “screens” here reveals a consistent pattern: no matter how one reviews the available data, Treasury auction yields were artificially high, which inured to Defendants’ benefit because, from a practical perspective, the prices at which Defendants purchased the Securities were artificially low. Only collusion and market manipulation by Defendants can explain the field being so consistently tilted in Defendants’ favor. A. Auction Yields Were Too High (i.e., Prices in the Auction Were Too Low), As Evidenced by Yields for Essentially the Same Instruments Available Elsewhere 1. Auction yields were too high/prices were too low as seen by comparing yields at the same moment in time to the secondary market for comparable Treasuries 76. Treasuries that were sold in the immediate preceding auction for the Treasury Security of the same tenor (“on-the-run” securities) are available for sale on the secondary market. They represent the same risk profile as newly-issued Treasuries. Prices in a competitive auction for something should be the same as the price for basically the equivalent thing in the secondary market.16 Or, any differences would be random. But that is not what happened. To 14 See generally Testimony of Rosa M. Abrantes-Metz on behalf of the Office of Enforcement Staff, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Sept. 22, 2014) (available at http://elibrary.ferc.gov/idmws/doc_info.asp?document_id=14274590). 15 See Liam Vaughan and Gavin Finch, Currency Spikes at 4 P.M. in London Provide Rigging Clues, Bloomberg (Aug. 27, 2013) (available at www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-08- 27/currency-spikes-at-4-p-m-in-london-provide-rigging-clues.html). 16 Though true as a general matter, in fact here economic valuation theory holds that bidders should have been willing to accept a lower yield/pay a higher price than the prevailing rate in the secondary market for on-the-run securities, because the auction was providing participants an influx of the most highly liquid of all Treasuries, and many participants needed to Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 25 of 85 22 the contrary, the resulting (supposedly competitive) auction “price” here was consistently lower than the market “price” for essentially the same things already in the market. Put another way, Defendants were consistently able to secure windfall yields (aka bargain prices) in the auction. 77. Even assuming some amount of market noise, there is no legitimate reason why these two price discovery mechanisms (in an auction, versus in a secondary market) both getting at the same thing (the value of a promised dollar from the Treasury) should consistently break from one another in the same direction, auction after auction, maturity after maturity, year after year. But that is exactly what the data reveals. 78. The following chart shows how often (in red) auction yields were high/prices were low compared to those in the secondary market on comparable (on-the-run) Treasuries— i.e., how often Defendants got a bargain-deal through the purportedly competitive auction. Across all maturities, Defendants were “winning” far more often than they were “losing.” And for some maturities, they were almost always winning. “win” to ensure they were not put in a “short squeeze” by previous commitments made in the when-issued market. Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 26 of 85 23 79. Appendix A hereto contains additional charts, breaking out the same directional study for each maturity, year by year rather than with all years together. The same results are seen there as well—a consistent pattern of windfall yields/bargain prices in the auction. 80. Statistically speaking, there is essentially a zero percent chance that over so many auctions, across so many years, and so many maturities, that the gap between the auction and secondary-market yields/pricing is the result of market noise or random chance. It can only be explained by Defendants consistently tipping the playing field in their own favor during the auctions. 81. To see the consistent tilting in Defendants’ favor another way, the following charts measures the average difference between the two price-discovery mechanisms (i.e., again, yields in the auction, versus for on-the-run Treasuries). That the bars are all below zero, for every maturity, again indicates that the yields in the auction were consistently higher and prices in the auction were consistently lower than what could be obtained in the secondary market. Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 27 of 85 24 82. To control for the possibility that the average difference was being dragged down by some outliers, the same analysis was run with respect to the median figures. It can again be seen that the auction yields were consistently too high, i.e., Defendants were consistently getting bargain prices. Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 28 of 85 25 2. Auction yields were too high/prices were too low as seen by comparing yields at the same moment in time to the secondary market for the exact same Treasuries 83. The above analysis shows that yields in the auction systematically diverged from yields in the secondary market for equivalent “on-the-run” securities from auctions past. The same result is seen if a study is done into the yields for the exact same securities. This comparison is made possible because on certain occasions the Treasury re-issues the same exact securities in a follow-on auction. Again, because the promise to be paid a dollar by the Treasury, is a promise to be paid a dollar by the Treasury, yields in a competitive auction for re-issued Treasuries should be the same as yields for the same exact thing available on the secondary market. 84. That, again, is not what the data shows. Instead, again, Defendants were able to consistently secure for themselves—despite the purported confidential, competitive auction— windfall yields/bargain prices in the follow-on auction as compared to what was being demanded in the secondary market. 85. The following chart combines the multi-factor analyses seen above. Each line represents a re-issuance auction. The orange, above-zero lines represent instances where the auction yields were higher (prices were lower) than secondary-market yields for the same exact securities. Blue lines represent instances where the opposite occurred. There are far, far more orange lines—and those lines extend much higher, on average, than the blue lines. In other words, as in the study above of comparable “on-the-run” Treasuries, this study of re-issued Treasuries again finds that Defendants far more often than not got a bargain, and when they did their gains were much bigger than their losses when they happened to ‘overpay’ in the auction. Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 29 of 85 26 86. Year-by-year, tenor-by-tenor charts, showing the same unmistakable pattern of an auction consistently tilted in Defendants’ favor, appear as Appendix B. 87. To see this numerically, the following table in essence counts the orange lines versus the blue lines (“% of Reissuance Auctions with Positive Spread”), for different tenors, and also makes the same comparison for all tenors in which reissuances occurred. The table also measures how much taller the orange lines are than the blue lines, confirming that the average movement across multiple auctions was in the direction that gave Defendants a bargain. Across all tenors, the auction yields of reissued Treasuries were inflated in 69% of auctions (i.e., Defendants got a bargain price 69% of the time), by 0.91 basis points. Tenor % of Reissuance Auctions with Positive Spread Average Positive Spread Cash Management Bills 62.70% 0.69 bps 4-Week 74.60% 1.01 bps 13-Week 72.70% 0.95 bps 26-Week 68.50% 0.74 bps 10-Year 62.50% 1.75 bps 30-Year 54.40% 2.28 bps Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 30 of 85 27 Tenor % of Reissuance Auctions with Positive Spread Average Positive Spread All Tenors 69.00% 0.91 bps 88. There is, again, essentially a zero percent chance that over so many re-issuance auctions, across so many years, and so many maturities, that the gap between the auction and secondary-market pricing for the exact same security is the result of market noise or random chance. It can only be explained by the consistent tipping of the playing field in Defendants’ favor. B. The Market Suspiciously Moved in Defendants’ Favor Following the Auction Far Too Often to Be the Result of Natural Phenomena 1. Defendants were consistently able to turn and sell the Treasuries for a profit 89. If someone gets something in an auction for a truly bargain price, they should be able to turn and sell it for a profit. That is, in fact, what the data shows occurred. Defendants were, once again, anomalously and predictably “winners” in the auction. A disproportionate number of times, yields went down for the just-auctioned Securities following the auction (i.e., prices went up) over the course of the rest of the day, or the next one. The odds Defendants by random chance (and without collusion) secured a preferential auction rate across so many maturities, across so many auctions, is statistically zero. 90. Take, for example, the following chart, which compares the number of times yields/prices moved in Defendants’ favor by the end of the day (in red), versus the number of times yields/prices moved against them (in blue), on the three-month T-bill. Year after year, Defendants by the end of the day came out winners far more often than not. Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 31 of 85 28 91. The same pattern is seen in the one-month T-bill auction: 92. Additional charts, for additional maturities, are set forth as Appendix C. Consistently, yields went down/prices eventually went up following the auction. The consistency of that pattern—statistically significant—demonstrates that the purportedly Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 32 of 85 29 competitive auction, was anything but. Again, Defendants consistently rigged the auction playing field in their own favor. 93. As was done with a comparison of the auction yields/prices with those in the secondary market for comparable securities, it is also helpful to see not just the number of times things moved one direction or another, but how large of a gap was created. The following chart tracks the yields on the Treasuries at the end of the auction day, to the yields in the auction itself for those Treasuries. The bars are all below zero, meaning that yields on average went down over the course of an auction day, i.e., prices for the same securities consistently went up after the auction. As the auctioned securities are equivalent to other securities that had been available all along, and because the auction was supposed to be a competitive process, again, Defendants should not have so consistently been able to secure a bargain during the auction process. 94. Looking again at the median difference for each maturity (in order to control for outliers that might disproportionately affect the mean difference), the same pattern of yields going down/prices going up post-auction is confirmed. Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 33 of 85 30 95. The same pattern of anomalously consistent price movements in one direction— directions that show Defendants almost always got an auction bargain—is also seen by running the same comparisons, but across multiple days. These additional charts are included as Appendix D. 2. Movements in post-auction yields/prices cannot be explained away by general market trends 96. The above analysis of yield/price movements after the auction shows a statistically aberrational pattern—in Defendants’ favor, once again—confirming that the competitive auction was anything but. These anomalies are present even after controlling for potentially explanatory market movements, which can be seen most simply by comparing whether there was a uniform direction and degree of movement in the auction yields and the broader secondary market from auction close, to the end of the day. If both moved in the same fashion and by the same amount, then this would suggest the post-auction yield movements were simply explainable by common market movements. Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 34 of 85 31 97. A “regression analysis” can be performed to test whether the pro-Defendant movements in auction yields were in line with, and explained by, the general market trends on auction days. In short, they are not. 98. A regression analysis seeks to determine how much the movement of one measured thing can be explained by the movement of another. Here, the regression analysis used sought to measure how much movements in secondary market yields for previously issued Treasuries explained movements in yields for the just-issued Treasuries, from the time of the auction until later in the day. 99. The analysis compared the correlation between (1) auction yields at the auction and the yields for the newly issued security at the end of the day, and (2) secondary market yields at the time of the auction but before the auction results are publicly released and secondary market yields at the end of day. As the following table shows, there is a statistically significant, positive β coefficient for all tenors—meaning that, as one would expect, yields for the just-issued Treasuries and for comparable secondary market Treasuries are correlated and move in similar ways. After controlling for the size of those respective movements, there is still an otherwise unexplained, statistically significant, negative gap between the two categories of yields. This indicates that there is an extra, unexplained layer of artificiality built into the auction yields, above and beyond that which occurred in the much larger secondary market. Movements in the secondary market therefore cannot explain why Defendants are seen getting a bargain by the end of the auction day. Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 35 of 85 32 100. The bottom line is that, even after controlling for movements in secondary market yields for previously issued Treasuries, almost every Treasury maturity exhibits a consistent pattern of negative post-auction yield movements (i.e., in Defendants’ favor), as seen by the consistency of the below-zero purple bars in the following chart. Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 36 of 85 33 101. As discussed below, the data shows that Defendants also manipulated secondary market yields through a combination of efforts in the much smaller when-issued and futures markets. And after the results of the auction are released, to secondary market moved in reaction to this “bad” (yield-wise”) news. Accordingly, secondary market yields were not untainted and do not present a perfect “control.” Nevertheless, given that Defendants could more easily manipulate auction yields due to their dominance of the auction process, the expectation is that the artificiality in those yields would be more pronounced. That is exactly what this regression analysis shows. C. Yields In The Supposedly Predictive “When-Issued” Market Consistently Underestimated Auction Yields, Again Showing Defendants Were Obtaining An Artificial Bargain 102. As discussed above, investors were able to stake out positions with respect to Treasuries before they were actually issued, by way of contracts entered into in the “whenissued” market. The buyer of the “when-issued” contract is taking a “long” position, paying the agreed-upon yield/price regardless of the auction results. And the seller is taking the “short” position, agreeing to deliver the security regardless of how much it costs to actually obtain within or after the auction. 103. In a competitive market, prices in the when-issued market would be an accurate predictor of the auction yield/price. Buyers would not be consistently willing to pay far more in advance, than what they think they will be able to get later. And sellers would not consistently agree to sell for far less than the costs they will incur in delivering the promised securities. As the Treasury itself has noted, “[w]hen-issued trading is important to the distribution process for Treasury Securities” because it is supposed to “reduce[] uncertainties surrounding Treasury Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 37 of 85 34 auctions by serving as a price discovery mechanism.” 17 One would thus expect yields in the closing hour and near-final moments of the when-issued market to act as highly predictive indicators of the actual auction yield. They were not, yet another sign that competitive forces broke down in and around the auction. 104. For example, the following chart tracks how often yields in the when-issued market were predicted incorrectly in a way that shows Defendants got an unexpectedly good bargain (in red) with how often the when-issued market predicted incorrectly in a way that Defendants were worse off (in blue). The same pattern seen in the other analyses above emerges: once again, the playing field was disproportionally tipped in Defendants’ favor. For a period of years, and across almost all tenors, Defendants were seen not only getting a bargain, but getting one that the predictive “when issued” market did not expect. 17 The Joint Report on the Government Securities Market, at A-6, jointly prepared by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Jan. 1992) (available at http://www.treasury.gov/ resource-center/fin-mkts/Documents/gsr92rpt.pdf). Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 38 of 85 35 105. Markets of course can move during the hour leading up to the auction. But what is striking is once again the consistency of the direction of that movement. There is no reason the when-issued market (or any other) would consistently move one way or the other, over the course of so many studied days. Statistically speaking, the chance that when-issued yields would be so bad of a predictor as they ended up being, in terms of the direction of the gap, with such regularity, stand at just 0.17%. 106. An equally important data point is that, despite their movements, the when-issued yields were still unable to actually predict auction yields. This can be seen by comparing yields in the when-issued market versus the auction yields. As seen below, the difference between when-issued yields in the final hour before the auction and the auction yield itself is generally positive, meaning when-issued yields before the auction were consistently predicting lower yields than what occurred (i.e., they were guessing prices in the auction would be higher than they ended up being). Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 39 of 85 36 107. This pattern is also seen if one studies the median, rather than the average, between the two. 108. The same pattern also holds true when one analyzes the final when-issued yield, with the auction yield. Again, a consistent pattern of the banks’ “winning” can be seen. Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 40 of 85 37 109. Seen another way, in the below chart (for two-year T-notes), the orange line represents the difference between the yield in the actual auction, versus the yield in the last when-issued transaction. The orange line is consistently and markedly above zero, i.e., yields were consistently higher (prices were lower) in the actual auction, than the market effectively predicted moments before. The dotted blue line is the six-auction moving average of the differences, which helps normalize the data and makes it easier to see that the difference is consistently above zero, i.e., towards higher yields in the auction. In other words, the data again shows that Defendants were getting artificially rigged, windfall yields/bargain prices that the market was not predicting. 110. Additional charts showing the same trend across other maturities are included as Appendix E. 111. Rather than plotting the (consistently in Defendants’ favor) movements across time, the following chart instead takes the same results and adds up the number of times the movement in yields fell into one band or another. One can thus again see that the auction yields Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 41 of 85 38 moved in Defendants’ favor, versus what the when-issued market predicted, far more often than the other way around. 112. Additional charts showing the same trend across other maturities are included as Appendix F. 113. Another way to present this data is to do a “cumulative distribution” chart. The chart begins at the most negative figure observed in the data—i.e., the rare instance where yields moved the most against Defendants. Tracking from left to right along the x-axis, the orange line rises as all the observations to the left of any point are shown as being a certain percent of the total population of observations. Thus, for instance, only 36% of the time did the when-issued market either anticipate the auction yield, or err against Defendants. The orange line rises dramatically once 0 is crossed, i.e., once the predictive “errors” show surprise movements in favor of Defendants. Indeed, the market failed to anticipate how much of a bargain Defendants got in the auction two-thirds of the time. Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 42 of 85 39 114. Additional charts showing the same trend across other maturities are included as Appendix G. II. MANIPULATION OF THE FUTURES AND SECONDARY MARKETS WAS PART AND PARCEL OF DEFENDANTS’ SCHEME 115. On auction days, prices for Treasury Investments, such as futures, consistently experienced sustained, increasingly downward pressure toward the close of competitive bidding. Yields for Treasury Securities in the secondary market likewise experienced a similar, sustained inflation (i.e., “prices” experienced downward pressure) in the lead-up to the auction. 116. This downward pressure in the futures and secondary markets is further evidence of a conspiracy to rig the Treasury auctions. If Defendants had not acted to push down prices in the real-world markets, the high-yield/low-price auction results would have stuck out like a sore thumb. Too big of a gap between the auction and marketplace yields, could also have brought Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 43 of 85 40 unwanted scrutiny by the New York Fed, which held the power to revoke the banks’ licenses if their bids were not “reasonable” in light of then-prevailing rates.18 117. That these markets were put under artificial duress in the lead-up to the auction is again borne out by the economic data, set forth below. 118. For example, the following chart tracks prices for futures on the ten-year Treasury note, on a normalized basis, which allows the minute-by-minute movements to be tracked in relative terms across many days, where absolute values will of course differ one day to the next. This allows us to see how on average prices in the futures market moved from one minute to the next over the course of a trading day. A steady downward trend is observed in the lead-up to the close of the auction—followed by a sudden drop downward at the close. 18 In addition, the Treasury looked to just such data to help them plan future auctions. Manipulation of the futures and secondary markets thus furthered Defendants’ goal of obtaining Treasuries through the auction process at higher yields/lower prices. Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 44 of 85 41 119. The same downward trend, culminated with a large drop right at the close, is similarly seen in the following chart, tracking the same normalized price movements across multiple auctions, but for five-year Treasury notes. 120. Additional charts, showing similar trends leading up to and at the close of the day’s auction, across other maturities, is included herein as Appendix H. 121. Again, of course, prices move from minute to minute all the time, not just around the auction close. But the following chart separates out the market noise of random and small movements, to identify the times of day when statistically significant, outlier-sized movements were occurring. Both of the following charts, first for the ten-year Treasury note, then for the five-year note, make clear that it was around auction close that such significant movements were regularly occurring. Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 45 of 85 42 122. Additional charts, showing similar trends leading up to and at the close of the day’s auction, across other maturities, are included herein as Appendix I. 123. The prices for Treasuries available for purchase on the spot market naturally track the prices for Treasuries available for purchase in the futures market. This is due to the size and Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 46 of 85 43 highly liquid nature of both markets, cross-market trading between the market, and investors’ ability to near instantly price discover, particularly with electronic trading platforms and highspeed trading. 124. This correlation occurred even when Treasury yields/prices were being artificially moved. For instance, the following chart tracks prices for thirty-year Treasuries on an auction date. Notably, both the orange (spot) and blue (futures) prices not only move with each other throughout the day, but do so even as Treasury prices at auction were being manipulated downward by Defendants—and then suddenly spike—at the auction time. 125. This sustained pattern of movements in the direction favorable to Defendants, and the time most beneficial to Defendants, is the same calling card seen in the market data that has led to the discovery of other instances of market manipulation by the banks. See Section IV below. Defendants and co-conspirators (including high-frequency trader cohorts) were “banging the close” or “flashing” the market with sell orders (many or all of which would be cancelled Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 47 of 85 44 before execution, i.e., they were “spoof” orders) in order to drag the market downward, both to infect the auction process and to help cover the tracks of their bid-rigging scheme. 126. Notably, this is not just another category of economic evidence that something was seriously amiss with the Treasuries markets in and around the auction. It also confirms that there were more victims to Defendants’ schemes than “just” the U.S. Treasury. Sellers of Treasuries Instruments were harmed because they were caught in the downward price movements. III. THE ANOMALOUS PRICE MOVEMENTS WERE THE RESULT OF DEFENDANTS’ CONSPIRACY 127. As discussed above, numerous studies into the behavior of yields/prices around the auction show statistically significant abnormalities. There is no innocent explanation for these abnormalities. Rather, the only plausible conclusion is that prices were being manipulated. 128. The artificialities observed were the result of joint action. No market participant acting alone would risk engaging in the manipulation documented above alone, at least not over the period of time for which evidence of manipulation exists. It would have been too risky, too costly, and too ineffective to attempt alone, auction after auction. 129. Not even a lone primary dealer Defendant could or would have done so. Outside of the auction, it would have been too risky to try to move market prices alone so regularly. Inside the auction, if any one bank continually led the charge to set prices lower, it would also continually incur the risk and cost of bidding “too low,” having its bid excluded, and not receiving the securities it desired (and often needed for the other transactions into which it entered). It also risked standing out too much, drawing suspicions from regulators and the market alike. Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 48 of 85 45 130. Additional evidence—including further economic data—confirming the pricing anomalies discussed above were the result of Defendants’ manipulations, are discussed below. A. Price Artificiality Went Hand-in-Hand With Defendants “Winning” in the Auction 131. As seen in the studies set forth in the preceding Sections, yields within the auction systematically departed from other measurables within the marketplace. Strikingly, when Defendants were more involved in a given auction, the observed anomalies were bigger. Conversely, when Defendants were less involved in a given auction, the observed anomalies were smaller. In other words, Defendants’ level of involvement in an auction, and the level of price artificiality went hand-in-hand. 132. This can be seen in the following chart, which uses a regression model to measure how correlated the amount of securities Defendants “won” in a given auction was, with respect to the size of the gap between the auction yields and the yields at the end of the auction day, after having controlled for contemporaneous market movements in the secondary market. The numbers are negative, for all the maturities. Which is to say, again, the more securities Defendants “won,” the more artificial (too high) the auction rate yields were. Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 49 of 85 46 133. Another way to track Defendants’ level of focus on a given auction is to measure the total dollar amount of Treasuries allocated to Defendants, rather than the percent of Treasuries allocated to Defendants. Doing a similar regression analysis but using this measure to track how interested Defendants were in “winning,” again finds that Defendants won more often the more artificial prices became. Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 50 of 85 47 B. Following the Announcement of the DOJ’s Treasuries Investigation, Signs of Artificiality Dissipated 134. As discussed above in Section I, auction yields were consistently higher than those observed at the end of the auction day, or the next, for the same or comparable Treasuries. On June 8, 2015, media outlets first reported that the DOJ was investigating Defendants for their potential role in a conspiracy to manipulate Treasury auction yields.19 Even in the limited number of auctions since that time, a break in the pattern has emerged. With one lone exception, yields no longer retreated with the same speed they once did on auction days. The break in the pattern is even more pronounced when looking at the two-day trend. 135. In the chart below, the difference between the auction yield and the closing-day yield the following day for 2000 through June 2015 appear as the red bars—they are noticeably all relatively large, and negative (indicating yields went down/prices went up post-auction). The 19 See Kevin Dugan, Justice Department Probes Banks for Rigging Treasuries Market, N.Y. Post (June 8, 2015) (available at http://nypost.com/2015/06/08/department-of-justiceprobes-Treasuries-market/). Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 51 of 85 48 same comparison is done post-reports of the DOJ, and appears below as the green bars—there is no consistent pattern anymore. And across all maturities the change from pre-and-post reports regarding the DOJ investigation is consistent with the cessation of attempts to inflate auction yields/depress auction prices. 136. Even more conspicuously, the previously observed direct relationship between auction yield artificiality, and Defendants’ participation rate in the auction has also significantly softened, if not disappeared entirely, since the announcement of the DOJ investigation. This similarly demonstrates that, now that they are under scrutiny, Defendants have diminished their collusion. The chart below shows this difference graphically. Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 52 of 85 49 C. Defendants Did Not Seek to Hedge Risk Around the Auctions the Way They Did At Other Times 137. Defendants’ change in their hedging practices further evidences their manipulation of the Treasury auctions. Holding Treasuries Investments entails risk, just like any other investment. Particularly, there is a risk that yields will move against the holder, lowering the value of what is being held. Because of the many outlets for investing in Treasuries, this risk can be managed by going “long” in one area, but going “short” in the other. 138. The data that is available20 shows that as a general matter, Defendants tended to do just that over the long term. 20 The New York Fed stopped requiring the primary dealers to provide this type of data in 2001, which is why the chart below also stops at that date. Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 53 of 85 50 As the dealers’ position in the spot market went “long” or “short” (the blue line), their position in the futures market (the orange line) moved in almost the exact opposite way. 139. This pattern of laying off risk that yields were going to move against the primary dealers suspiciously ceased when there was an auction. Rather than hedging by buying in one and selling in the other, or vice-versa, Defendants instead were, to a statistically significant degree, seen only around auctions going in the same direction in both the spot and futures markets. Defendants’ volume of activities also increased markedly in these periods. The only plausible explanation for such “doubling down” behavior is that Defendants were confident that they knew how the markets were going to move at the time of auctions, because they were manipulating the auction prices. D. Other “Plus Factors” Indicative of Collusion 140. The structure of the Treasuries market, and the ways Defendants operated within the market have created the perfect storm of features that invite and promote manipulation and collusion, allowing such behavior to go unnoticed until 2015. Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 54 of 85 51 141. First, as observed by James Cox, a professor at Duke University School of Law who studies financial markets, “[i]n the Treasury market, where you have a small number of participants and the sales volume is very high, it is a fertile area for harmful collusive behavior.” 21 This is especially true of the auction process and the when-issued market. As discussed in the Background Section above, all of the issuance of new Treasuries goes through an auction process—one in which the primary dealer Defendants were by far the largest participants. The when-issued market was also naturally dominated by Defendants, who were the primary sources of the to-be-acquired Treasuries at auction. 142. Second, Defendants were uniquely equipped to manipulate yields/prices to their advantage because they alone received a constant flow of customer order information reflecting the market’s current and upcoming demands. Defendants’ position as the preeminent “sellers” in the when-issued market gave them first-hand knowledge of the yields/prices that investors were willing to pay for forthcoming issuances. Similarly, Defendants’ ability to bid on behalf of both themselves and indirect bidders during each auction gave Defendants the inside track on determining the market’s demand for any given Treasury Security issuance. In an interview with Bloomberg, Mark MacQueen, a former government bond trader at Defendant Merrill Lynch confirmed that “primary dealers are an insiders club . . .” 22 143. Third, this customer order and bid information was not kept confidential. Rather, Defendants routinely shared it—both internally and with other banks. For instance, several people familiar with the auction process informed Bloomberg that “traders working at some of these financial institutions have the opportunity to learn specifics of those bids hours ahead of 21 See Scaggs, Kruger & Geiger, supra. 22 See Scaggs, Kruger & Geiger, supra. Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 55 of 85 52 the auctions.” 23 According to those sources, “traders at some of these dealers also have talked with counterparts at other banks via online chatrooms . . . with one of them adding that the traders swapped gossip about clients’ Treasury orders as recently as last year.” Many of these same Defendants have admitted to using the same types of inter-bank electronic chat-rooms to share customer information as part of their manipulation of other financial markets and benchmarks. See Section IV. 144. As reported by Bloomberg, “traders who learn of . . . deals’ timing could place informed bets on the direction of prices.” 24 This inside information allowed Defendants to predict what yields/prices investors would be willing to pay for Treasuries in the secondary market, and thus determine the level at which auction yields/prices had to be artificially set in order to result in the desired profits, while not drawing unwanted attention from the authorities and other market participants. The same electronic chat-rooms and other means of communication used to relay customer information were also used by Defendants to devise and execute their joint bidding and manipulative trading strategies. 145. Fourth, Defendants lacked adequate internal safeguards to prevent the disclosure of customer information. Some Defendants expressly allow their traders to access confidential customer trading information. For example, Bloomberg reported that at Defendant SG Americas, traders would get a pre-auction rundown of customers’ levels of interest.25 At other Defendants, there was no clear set of rules. For instance, at Defendants BNPP and Cantor, “there isn’t a consistent understanding among traders and salespeople about whether they can share information about orders before auctions, according to two people familiar with each firm.” 23 See Scaggs, Kruger & Geiger, supra. 24 Id. 25 Id. Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 56 of 85 53 Cantor is said to instead run on an “honor system.” While some Defendants reportedly have rules prohibiting employees from discussing yields or sizes of client bids before an auction, “[i]n many cases, such guidelines aren’t always followed, monitored, or enforced, said several people familiar with these dealers.” And in the case of UBS, a ban on traders from seeing client orders in the hours before an auction was only imposed in 2014—after Defendants had already manipulated Treasury auctions for years. 146. Fifth, despite its size and importance, the Treasuries market is only lightly regulated. According to Bloomberg, the last time the government took a “hard look” at the Treasuries market was 1998.26 Since then, massive technological developments—including, among other things, the advent of high-frequency trading, new trading platforms, and new means of electronic communication across the banks—have “left government overseers in the dust.” In fact, many of the rules still governing the Treasuries market were first enacted as far back as 1986, and “have gone virtually untouched” since. In an interview with Bloomberg, Craig Pirrong, a finance professor at the University of Houston reflected that it was “rather remarkable that the Fed and Treasury have taken little interest in the dramatic change in market microstructure and trading technology.” 147. There is currently a mishmash of agencies responsible for overseeing the Treasuries market, with “ample space between” their limited areas of authority.27 The Treasury Department can write rules, and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York can audit auctions, but neither body is primarily responsible for enforcement. Enforcement responsibility instead falls to the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), the Financial Industry Regulatory 26 Matthew Leising, If Treasuries Are Manipulated, Good Luck Finding Any Cops, Bloomberg (Dec. 8, 2014) (available at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-12- 08/light-speed-treasury-trading-governed-by-rules-dating-to-1998). 27 See Scaggs, Kruger & Geiger, supra. Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 57 of 85 54 Authority (“FINRA”), and the CFTC—each of which has only a slice of responsibility, depending on whether a Treasury Security was sold at auction, traded on the secondary market, or packaged in a mutual fund or derivative, or whether exchange-traded Treasury futures or options were involved. This patchwork approach to governmental oversight is one of the reasons why Defendants’ price-fixing conspiracy has gone undetected for so long. 148. Sixth, the Treasuries market, and the auction process in particular, has been the subject of manipulation in the past. For instance, in 1992, the Treasury Department, Federal Reserve, and SEC issued a joint report finding that Salomon Brothers (then, a major participant in Treasury auctions) had submitted false or unauthorized bids in order to purchase more securities than were permitted by any one buyer.28 The result was that 94% of a particular auctioned Treasury security were sold to Salomon Brothers and its customers, which created a “short squeeze” from which Salmon Brothers reaped supra-competitive profits. 149. Regulators found that improper trading activity was not limited to Salomon Brothers, but rather was systemic. For example, the SEC, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and Federal Reserve initiated administrative proceedings against 98 other dealers, brokers, and banks. Those proceedings found each respondent “engaged in one or more improper practices in connection with the primary distribution of [government] securities,” such as making and keeping inaccurate records. Salomon Brothers itself paid $290 million to settle the charges against it, including a charge of antitrust conspiracy brought by the DOJ. 150. Finally, the veneer of a “competitive” “auction” process allowed Defendants to continue their conspiracy for years without detection. The Treasury Department publishes the overall results of each auction, including the final yields, rates, or discounts. However, the actual 28 Joint Report on the Government Securities Market (Jan. 1992) (available at http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/fin-mkts/Documents/gsr92rpt.pdf). Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 58 of 85 55 bidding activity that led to those final figures—including all of Defendants’ actual bids—are still not available to the public. Similarly, the electronic chat-rooms and similar methods Defendants used to communicate customer information and coordinate their bidding strategies were also kept strictly private. IV. GOVERNMENT INVESTIGATIONS PROVIDE FURTHER EVIDENCE OF DEFENDANTS’ CULPABILITY 151. On June 8, 2015, the New York Post first reported that the DOJ has begun an investigation into possible fraudulent manipulation of the Treasuries market.29 Two days later, Bloomberg confirmed that to be the case.30 152. The focus of the probe is reported to be the auction process. Initial reports also state that the DOJ is modeling the Treasuries investigation on its successful examinations of the foreign exchange (“FX”) and other financial markets, including by inquiring whether inside information was shared improperly—e.g., whether Defendants used electronic chat-rooms and similar means to coordinate their positions and exchange confidential customer information, just as they did in the FX and other markets.31 While the investigation is still in its early stages, government lawyers are reported to have reached out to at least three of the Defendants to request information. 153. As discussed below, investigations into the banks’ Treasuries practices is just the latest in a long string of revelations about corruption in our financial system. With each passing scandal, it becomes clear that these are not isolated events, but rather that “cross-talk” on 29 See Dugan, supra. 30 Keri Geiger and Matthew Leising, Treasuries Collusion Said to Be Hunted in New Wave of Probes, Bloomberg (June. 10, 2015) (available at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/ articles/2015-06-10/treasuries-collusion-said-to-be-hunted-in-next-wave-of-probes). 31 See Scaggs, Kruger and Geiger, supra. Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 59 of 85 56 electronic platforms, to arrange manipulative trading strategies at key points in the day, was for years viewed as normal operating procedure by Defendants and others in the banking industry. A. The Dam Breaks: Economic “Screens” Like Those Here Prompt (Successful) Investigations into the Rigging of Libor, an Interest-Rate Benchmark 154. One of the first financial benchmarks to draw scrutiny from government regulators was the London Interbank Offered Rate (“Libor”), which was supposed to reflect the rate that banks would pay to borrow funds in the inter-bank market. Following reports in the media that Libor had been manipulated—based on the use of economic “screens” highly similar to the ones used herein—regulators launched investigations into the conduct of the group of “panel banks” responsible for setting Libor. 155. Those investigations have revealed that instead of submitting their honest, expected borrowing costs, the Libor panel banks instead submitted deliberately false quotes for the purpose of manipulating the published Libor rate. The government investigations have resulted in both criminal and regulatory charges, and have been coordinated between agencies from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, and the European Union. 156. The first panel bank to be formally charged was Defendant Barclays. In June 2012, Barclays was fined over $450 million by the CFTC, DOJ, and U.K. Financial Services Authority (“FSA”). Barclays admitted to a detailed Statement of Facts, which cited scores of emails and other communications, in furtherance of their scheme to manipulate and suppress the published Libor rates.32 157. Later that year, the scandal widened when, for the first time, it was revealed that Libor manipulation was not restricted to traders within the panel banks, but also involved collusion between banks, and between banks and interdealer brokers. This revelation occurred in 32 DOJ, Barclays Statement of Facts (Jun. 26, 2012) (available at http://www.justice.gov/iso/opa/resources/9312012710173426365941.pdf). Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 60 of 85 57 connection with Defendant UBS’s settlement agreements, wherein UBS was fined over $1.5 billion for its role in manipulating Libor rates. Regulators found “[m]ore than 2,000 instances of unlawful conduct involving dozens of UBS employees, colluding with other panel banks, and inducing interdealer brokers to spread false information and influence other banks.” 33 UBS’s settlements “exposed the systemic problems with the rate-setting process.” 34 158. Defendant RBS was the next to fall. In early 2013, it was charged with felony counts of wire fraud and price-fixing in violation of the Sherman Act. RBS admitted that it colluded with other banks to manipulate Libor rates. In addition to the $250 million in criminal fines imposed by the DOJ, RBS agreed to pay $325 million in fines and disgorgement to the CFTC, and $137 million to the FSA. Those regulators released many specific examples of RBS’s collusive communications, in the form of emails, instant messages, and telephone transcripts between traders at RBS and other panel banks. As stated before British Parliament by Johnny Cameron, RBS’s former Chairman of Global Banking and Markets, Libor manipulation involved “a cartel of people across a number of banks.” 35 159. On December 4, 2013, the European Commission issued its own set of findings, and fined Defendants Barclays, Citi, Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan, and RBS a total of $1.7 billion 33 CFTC, Press Release, CFTC Orders UBS to Pay $700 Million Penalty to Settle Charges of Manipulation, Attempted Manipulation and False Reporting of Libor and Other Benchmark Interest Rates (Dec. 19, 2012) (available at http://www.cftc.gov/PressRoom/ PressReleases/pr6472-12). 34 Mark Scott and Ben Protess, As Unit Pleads Guilty, UBS Pays $1.5 Billion Over Rate Rigging, New York Times (Dec. 19, 2012) (available at http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/12/ 19/as-unitpleads-guilty-ubs-pays-1-5-billion-in-fines-over-rate-rigging/?_php=true&_ type=blogs&_r=0). 35 Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards – Minutes of Evidence (Feb. 11, 2013) (available at http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/jt201314/jtselect/jtpcbs/27/ 130211a.htm). Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 61 of 85 58 for “participating in cartels in the interest rate derivatives industry.” 36 The European Commission found that each of these Defendants “coordinated with each other” to manipulate Libor and related benchmarks, which included discussions of “confidential and commercially sensitive information that they are not allowed to share with other market players” and that they “exchanged their pricing and trading strategies and trading positions.” 37 160. More recently, Defendant Deutsche Bank was charged with felony counts of wire fraud and price-fixing, and agreed to pay $625 million in fines to the DOJ.38 The DOJ found that Deutsche Bank conspired with other banks to manipulate Libor. Deutsche Bank was also fined $800 by the CFTC, $344 million by the FSA, and $600 million by the New York Department of Financial Services. B. The Banks’ Collusion to Manipulate the ISDAfix USA Interest-Rate Benchmark Reveals Evidence of Treasuries Manipulation 161. ISDAfix is another key interest-rate benchmark, as it is designed to represent current market fixed rates for interest rate swaps of various terms. In November 2012, the CFTC issued subpoenas focused on the issue of whether “ISDAfix was rigged.” In April 2013, it was revealed that the CFTC and other regulators were actively investigating the manipulation of USA ISDAfix. The CFTC was reported to be sifting through over one million emails and instant messages, as it simultaneously interviewed current and former employees of banks and dealers as part of its ISDAfix investigation. Defendants Barclays, Citi, RBS, and UBS have all admitted in 36 European Commission, Press Release (Dec. 4, 2013) (available at http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-13-1208_en.htm). 37 Joaquín Almunia, Introductory Remarks on Cartels in the Financial Sector (Dec. 4, 2013) (available at http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_SPEECH-13-1020_en.htm), at 2. 38 DOJ, Deutsche Bank’s London Subsidiary Agrees to Plead Guilty in Connection with Long-Running Manipulation of Libor (Apr. 23, 2014) (available at http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/deutsche-banks-london-subsidiary-agrees-plead-guiltyconnection-long-running-manipulation). Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 62 of 85 59 their recent regulatory filings to being subject to ISDAfix investigations, including having “ongoing obligations” to cooperate with authorities. 162. In 2014, Bloomberg reported that the CFTC had “told the U.S. Justice Department they’ve found evidence of criminal behavior following an investigation into banks’ alleged manipulation of ISDAfix[.]” 39 The article stated that the CFTC “has flagged its findings to prosecutors, according to a person familiar with the matter.” This led the DOJ and other regulators to launch their own investigations. 163. Earlier this year, the CFTC fined Barclays $115 million based on the formal results of its investigation.40 After reviewing thousands of documents and audio recordings of communications, the CFTC concluded that from at least 2007 through 2012, Barclays traders “attempted to manipulate [ISDAfix] to benefit the Bank’s derivatives positions.” This manipulation took two main forms: (1) targeted transactions around the 11 a.m. fixing window in a manner designed to alter yields/prices; and (2) responding to the ISDAfix “poll” with submissions that did not in fact match Barclays’ actual rates. As Barclays traders acknowledged, “ISDAfix is manipulated.” 164. The CFTC’s investigation has also led to revelations about manipulation of the Treasuries market, to which the ISDAfix benchmark is closely linked. In its Order against Barclays, the CFTC found that Barclays traders engaged in “manipulation through . . . bidding, offering, and/or executing trades in U.S. Treasuries.” The CFTC specifically described an 39 Matthew Leising and Tom Schoenberg, CFTC Said to Alert Justice Department of Criminal Rate Rigging, Bloomberg (Sept. 9, 2014) (available at http://http://www.bloomberg. com/news/articles/2014-09-08/cftc-said-to-alert-justice-department-of-criminal-rate-riggingi2z7ngfn). 40 See In the Matter of Barclays Bank PLC, CFTC Docket No. 15-25, Order Instituting Proceedings (May 20, 2015). Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 63 of 85 60 instance where Barclays derivatives traders coordinated with traders on the bank’s Treasuries desk to “push the screens down” on Treasuries. C. The Banks’ Brazenness Is Further Revealed by Investigations into the FX Market 165. Beginning in the fall of 2013, media reports surfaced that government regulators were investigating potential manipulation of the FX market. These investigations quickly grew in scope to include authorities from across the globe. Many of the Defendants here have been specifically targeted by regulators for their role in the manipulation of the FX market. Many of those investigations have already resulted in criminal guilty pleas, civil and criminal penalties totaling well over $10 billion, and the release of damning reports detailing how many of these Defendants actively colluded to manipulate the FX market through consistent, clearly improper cross-bank communications about orders and planned trading activities—the same type of “cross talk” used here to rig the Treasuries auction. 41 Again, many of these claims were uncovered in part through econometric analysis of the type performed here, i.e., an analysis of trading patterns and price movements around pivotal points in the day. 166. In May 2015, Defendants Barclays, Citi, JPMorgan, RBS, and UBS were fined a total of $3 billion by the DOJ, and each pled guilty to criminal conspiracy charges for manipulating FX rates.42 The DOJ settlements followed a series of Orders from November 2014, where the CFTC and FCA imposed over $3.2 billion in fines on Defendants Citi, HSBC, JPMorgan, RBS, and UBS for manipulating the FX market, the Office of the Comptroller of the 41 Karen Freifeld, David Henry and Steve Slater, Global Banks Admit Guilt in Forex Probe, Fined Nearly $6 Billion, Reuters (May 20, 2015) (available at http://www.reuters.com/ article/2015/05/20/us-banks-forex-settlement-idUSKBN0O50CQ20150520). 42 See U.S. v. Barclays PLC, Plea Agreement (D. Conn. May 20, 2015); U.S. v. Citicorp, Plea Agreement (D. Conn. May 20, 2015); U.S. v. JPMorgan Chase & Co., Plea Agreement (D. Conn. May 20, 2015); U.S. v. The Royal Bank of Scotland PLC, Plea Agreement (D. Conn. May 20, 2015); U.S. v. UBS AG, Plea Agreement (D. Conn. May 20, 2015); In the Matter of Barclays Bank PLC, CFTC Docket No. 15-24, Order Instituting Proceedings (May 20, 2015). Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 64 of 85 61 Currency (“OCC”) fined Defendants BofA, Citi, and JPMorgan another $950 million, and the Financial Market Supervisory Authority (“FINMA”) fined UBS $141 million. Other authorities across the globe are also actively investigating Defendants’ manipulation of the FX market, including the U.S. Federal Reserve and the Securities Exchange Commission. 167. The settlements entered to date lay out the details of how Defendants colluded to manipulate FX prices to their benefit. For instance, the CFTC found that Defendants Citi, HSBC, JPMorgan, RBS, and UBS “used private electronic chat rooms to communicate and plan their attempts to manipulate the Forex benchmark prices.” 43 Defendants’ traders used those inter-bank chat rooms to “coordinate[] their trading with certain FX traders at other banks to attempt to manipulate certain FX benchmark rates,” and to “disclose[] confidential customer order information and trading positions, alter[] trading positions to accommodate the interests of the collective group, and agree[] on trading strategies as part of an effort by the group to attempt to manipulate certain FX benchmark rates.” Those exclusive chatrooms were often given colorful names like “The Cartel,” “The Mafia,” “The Club,” “The Bandits’ Club,” “The Dream Team,” “One Team, One Dream,” and “The Sterling Lads.” 168. With customer information in hand, and a decision made to move prices in a particular direction, the colluding banks would equip each other with the tools to do so. For example, where one bank had a contrary book of orders, those orders would be “netted off” with third parties in order to reduce the number of adverse orders that were to be processed during the pivotal polling window—a process referred to as “taking out the filth” or “clearing the decks.” When the banks had orders going in the same direction, they would “build” the orders by transferring them between other conspirators—a process referred to as “giving you the ammo.” 43 In the Matter of Citibank, N.A., Order Instituting Proceedings, CFTC Dkt. No. 15-03 (Nov. 11, 2014). Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 65 of 85 62 That way a subset of banks could more easily control the process of ensuring the trades had the maximum effect at just the right time. 169. As discussed above, Defendants here engaged in similar practices in the analogous context of the Treasuries market. Industry sources interviewed by Bloomberg have confirmed that Treasuries traders employed by Defendants used the same types of private electronic chat-rooms to communicate with their counterparts at other banks, including to “swap gossip” about their clients’ Treasury orders. This was then used to coordinate bidding and trading strategies. D. Investigations Into Manipulation of the Gold Market 170. The DOJ, CFTC, FCA, the Swiss Competition Commission (WEKO), the Swiss financial regulator FINMA, and the German financial regulator BaFin all launched probes into whether certain banks (including Defendants Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, and UBS) also have sought to manipulate the market for gold.44 171. In May 2014, the FCA released the results of its investigation of Defendant Barclays, which found that the bank failed to “create or implement adequate policies or procedures to properly manage the way in which Barclays’ traders participated in the Gold Fixing [a system used to set a benchmark price for gold] . . . and create systems and reports that allowed for adequate monitoring of traders’ activity in connection with the Gold Fixing.” 45 As a result of these failures, “Barclays was unable to adequately monitor what trades its traders were 44 See Jean Eaglesham and Christopher M. Matthews, Big Banks Face Scrutiny Over Pricing of Metals: U.S. Justice Department investigates price-setting process for gold, silver, platinum, and palladium, The Wall Street Journal (Feb. 23, 2015) (available at http://www.wsj.com/articles/big-banks-face-scrutiny-over-pricing-of-metals-1424744801). 45 FCA Final Notice to Barclays Bank PLC (May 23, 2014) (available at https://www.fca.org.uk/static/documents/final-notices/barclays-bank-plc.pdf). Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 66 of 85 63 executing in the Gold Fixing or whether those traders may have been placing orders to affect inappropriately the price of gold in the Gold Fixing.” 172. The FCA detailed a specific instance where Barclays traders intentionally drove down the Fix price of gold so as to avoid the payment it would have had to make to a customer pursuant to a digital option contract.46 This was accomplished by the placement of several large, fictitious “sell” orders at the beginning of the auction period, which caused prices to drop during the auction, and the resulting Fixing price to drop as well. Traders interviewed by Bloomberg stated that this was not a one-off event, but rather was “common practice” among investment banks.47 173. FINMA found similar problems at UBS, which was a major participant in the gold market.48 FINMA observed that UBS’s FX and precious metals trading desks were closely integrated, and found that “just as in foreign exchange trading,” UBS’s precious metals traders engaged in “serious misconduct,” including (1) sharing customer order information with other banks, and (2) manipulative trading strategies in and around the Fixing window for the purpose of altering prices. FINMA found that this conduct was tolerated or even engaged in by managers with responsibility for overseeing precious metals traders. 46 The kind of a digital option (also sometimes referred to simply as a “digital”) at issue had only two potential values: a fixed payout to the customer if the option finished “in the money” (i.e., the price exceed the specific barrier price), or no payout if the option finished “out of the money” (i.e., the price was at or below the specific barrier price). 47 Dave Michaels, Suzi Ring and Julia Verlaine, Barclays Fine Spurs U.K. Scrutiny of Derivatives Conflict, Bloomberg (June 5, 2014) (available at www.bloomberg.com/news/2014- 06-05/barclays-fine-leads-to-new-u-k-scrutiny-of-derivatives-conflict.html). 48 FINMA, Foreign exchange trading at UBS AG: investigation conducted by FINMA – Report (Nov. 12, 2014) (available at https://www.finma.ch/en/news/2014/11/mm-ubsdevisenhandel-20141112/). Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 67 of 85 64 V. PLAINTIFFS AND MEMBERS OF THE CLASS WERE INJURED BY DEFENDANTS’ ANTICOMPETITIVE CONDUCT A. Summary of Plaintiffs’ Injuries 174. Defendants’ attempts to manipulate Treasury auctions harmed many types of investors. 175. For instance, as discussed above in Section II, both to impact the auction itself, and to help conceal the artificiality of the auction results, Defendants manipulated prices for Treasuries futures and for Treasuries in the spot market. Sellers of futures, and sellers on the secondary market, were harmed because they sold for less than they would have in an manipulated market. 176. The wide-ranging impact of Defendants’ manipulation can be further seen in a study of movements in yields following the announcement of the auction results. Though the markets in the run-up to the auction had been manipulated as part of the scheme, the release of the auction results still potentially represented new information from the market’s perspective. An artificially high auction result—even if aided by pre-auction manipulations— would be expected to cause a corresponding shift in the secondary and futures markets to the extent they were surprised by the yield itself and thereafter assimilated that information into market prices. In fact, that is exactly what happened. 177. For instance, the following chart tracks secondary market yields for auction days where yields increased following the auction. While the trend upward towards higher yields (lower prices) begins prior to the manipulated auction, the effect is compounded greatly with the announcement of the actual auction results. Thus, Defendants’ collusion substantially impacted both the pre- and post-auction markets such that market participants were directly harmed by the conspiracy. Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 68 of 85 65 178. Additional charts, showing additional spikes around the auction in both the secondary and when-issued markets, are included as Appendix J. 179. In addition, Defendants’ manipulation directly impacted instruments, such as interest rate swaps, that used the auction yield/prices, and secondary market Treasury yields/prices, as benchmarks. For example, as discussed in the Background Section, swaps use interest-rate benchmarks to determine the cash flows one counterparty owes to the other. Thus, on swaps that were pegged to the results of the Treasury auction, floating rate payers on such swaps thus paid higher amounts on their swaps because published Treasury auction yields were higher than they would have been in a competitive market, absent Defendants’ manipulations. B. Defendants’ Conduct Restrained Trade And Decreased Competition 180. Defendants’ conduct constitutes a per se violation of the antitrust laws because of its clear and obvious risk of inflicting anticompetitive impact and economic injury. Defendants operated as a secretive cartel and engaged in a price-fixing scheme that reduced the free and unfettered competition the Sherman Act was designed to preserve and promote. Defendants’ Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 69 of 85 66 scheme to fix Treasury auctions at artificial levels, as well as to inflated yields (thereby suppressing prices) for Treasury Securities and Treasury Investments in the hours leading up to the auction, directly and immediately impacted the market for Treasury Securities and Treasury Investments (markets in which Defendants participate). To the extent some types of Treasury Securities and/or Treasury Investments may be considered distinct submarkets, Defendants’ scheme immediately impacted those submarkets as well. 181. Defendants are considered to be, and hold themselves out as, horizontal competitors (as buyers, sellers, and brokers) in the markets for Treasury Securities and Treasury Investments. As such, they should compete against each other when (a) submitting bids for Treasury Securities and trading either their own proprietary books or the assets and investments of their clients, and (b) trading in the Treasury Security and/or Treasury Investment markets. Indeed, the auctions were intended to yield market outcomes that depended on Defendants operating as competitors in the secondary market and in the auction itself. Instead of acting as competitors, however, Defendants and their co-conspirators agreed to restrain trade in order to pursue collective goals and to manipulate the market by collusion and coordination, as described above. Defendants’ collusive price fixing was inimical to competition and restrained trade in the affected markets (and any applicable submarkets). 182. Treasury auctions were supposed to be—and were understood by market participants as being—a reliable process to establish the yields for Treasury Securities, because they were supposed to reflect actual market conditions, as well as the results of the primary dealers’ and other direct bidders’ actual competitive bids. 183. As discussed above, however, Defendants—by far the largest constituent of direct bidders in Treasury auctions, with the combined power to manipulate the results of those Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 70 of 85 67 auctions—repeatedly colluded to inflate the yields of all Treasury Securities. As also shown above, Defendants also repeatedly colluded to manipulate prices for on-the-run and off-the-run Treasury Securities, as well as Treasury Investments. Trade was accordingly restrained and competition decreased in the market for Treasury Securities and Treasury Investments. 184. Defendants’ collusive inflation of Treasury auction yields, inflation of on-therun/off-the-run Treasury Security yields, and suppression of Treasury Investment (e.g., futures) prices had the purpose and effect of depressing prices in the market. VI. CLASS ACTION ALLEGATIONS 185. Plaintiffs bring this action on behalf of themselves and as a class action under Rule 23(a) and (b)(3) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, seeking relief on behalf of the following class (the “Class”): All persons or entities who during the period from January 1, 2007 through the present (the “Class Period”): (a) sold an on-the-run or off-the-run Treasury Security around the time of a Treasury auction; (b) sold a Treasury future around the time of a Treasury auction; and/or (c) were the floating-rate payer on a Treasurylinked interest rate swap, or were in a similar position on other instruments, contracts, or investments whose cash flows were tied to a Treasury Security auction result. Excluded from the Class are Defendants and their employees, affiliates, parents, subsidiaries, and co-conspirators, whether or not named in this Complaint, and the United States Government. 186. There are many thousands of Class Members as described above, making the Class so numerous and geographically dispersed that joinder of all Class Members is impracticable. 187. There are questions of law and fact common to the Class that relate to the existence of the conspiracy alleged, and the type and common pattern of injury sustained as a result thereof, including, but not limited to: Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 71 of 85 68 a. Whether Defendants and their co-conspirators engaged in a combination or conspiracy to fix, lower, maintain, stabilize and/or otherwise manipulate Treasury Security and Investment prices in violation of the Sherman Act and/or Commodity Exchange Act; b. The identity of the participants in the conspiracy; c. The scope and duration of the conspiracy; d. The nature and character of the acts performed by Defendants and their coconspirators in furtherance of the conspiracy; e. Whether the conduct of Defendants and their co-conspirators, as alleged in this Complaint, caused injury to the business or property of Plaintiffs and the Class Members; f. Whether Defendants and their co-conspirators fraudulently concealed the conspiracy’s existence from Plaintiffs and the Class Members; g. Whether Defendants’ manipulation constituted a manipulative or unlawful act barred by the Commodity Exchange Act; h. Whether such manipulation caused the price of Treasury Investments to be artificial; i. The appropriate injunctive and equitable relief for the Class; and j. The appropriate measure of damages sustained by Plaintiffs and the Class Members. 188. Plaintiffs’ claims are typical of the claims of the other Class Members. Plaintiffs and the Class Members sustained damages arising out of Defendants’ common course of conduct in violation of law as complained of herein. The injuries and damages of each Class Member were directly caused by Defendants’ wrongful conduct in violation of the laws as alleged herein. 189. Plaintiffs will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the Class Members. Plaintiffs are adequate representatives of the Class and have no interests adverse to the interests of absent Class Members. Plaintiffs have retained counsel competent and experienced in Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 72 of 85 69 complex class action litigation, including commodity futures manipulation and antitrust class action litigation. 190. The prosecution of separate actions by individual Class Members would create a risk of inconsistent or varying adjudications. 191. The questions of law and fact common to the Class Members predominate over any questions affecting only individual members, including legal and factual issues relating to liability and damages. 192. A class action is superior to other available methods for the fair and efficient adjudication of this controversy. Treatment as a class action will permit a large number of similarly situated persons to adjudicate their common claims in a single forum simultaneously, efficiently and without duplication of effort and expense that numerous, separate individual actions, or repetitive litigation, would entail. The Class is readily definable and is one for which records should exist in the files of Defendants and their co-conspirators, Class Members, or the public record. Class treatment will also permit the adjudication of relatively small claims by many Class Members who otherwise could not afford to litigate the claims alleged herein, including those for antitrust. This class action presents no difficulties of management that would preclude its maintenance as a class action. VII. EQUITABLE TOLLING OF THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS DUE TO DEFENDANTS’ CONCEALMENT OF THE CONSPIRACY 193. Defendants and their co-conspirators concealed their wrongdoing in manipulating Treasury auction yields and prices within the Treasury Security and Treasury Investment markets. Thus, the statute of limitations relating to the claims for relief alleged herein was tolled, due both to Defendants’ and their co-conspirators’ affirmative acts of concealment and the inherently self-concealing nature of their private, unregulated conduct. Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 73 of 85 70 194. Defendants’ and their co-conspirators’ success in concealing their collusion was facilitated by their tremendous control over the Treasury markets, which was aided in no small part by virtue of Defendants’ positions as primary dealers. 195. Neither Plaintiffs nor the Class knew of Defendants’ and their co-conspirators’ unlawful and self-concealing manipulative acts and could not have discovered them by the exercise of reasonable due diligence, if at all, at least prior to public reports of government investigations concerning possible manipulation of Treasury auctions in June 2015. Plaintiffs and the Class also lacked any basis for identifying the wrongdoers or calculating damages before that date. Indeed, Defendants’ and their co-conspirators’ conduct concerning Treasury auctions and pre-auction Treasury Security and Treasury Investment prices was so well hidden that Defendants and their co-conspirators kept global regulators unaware of such conduct for years. 196. Following the reports of the DOJ’s investigation becoming public, Plaintiffs retained counsel, who undertook an investigation into possible manipulation of Treasury auction yields and retained economic consultants to undertake sophisticated economic investigations of the Treasury Security and Treasury Investment markets and whether they were subject to manipulation by Defendants and their co-conspirators. 197. Reasonable due diligence could not have uncovered Defendants’ and their coconspirators’ manipulative conspiracy because: (i) the Treasury Security sale process was held out as being set by an impartial, competitive auction based on market factors; (ii) the Treasury auctions are conducted through confidential bids, which are not publicly available; (iii) Defendants’ and their co-conspirators’ trading positions and trading strategies are also largely not public information; (iv) the bilateral, non-exchange traded nature of many of the transactions at issue; (v) the highly specialized nature of the various aspects of the Treasury Security and Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 74 of 85 71 Treasury Investment markets make it extraordinarily difficult for an ordinary person to assess improprieties; and (vi) neither Defendants nor their co-conspirators told Plaintiffs or other Class Members that they were conspiring to fix, stabilize, maintain, and/or otherwise manipulate Treasury Security auction yields, or Treasury Security and Treasury Investment prices. 198. Defendants and their co-conspirators also took active steps to conceal evidence of their misconduct from Plaintiffs, the Class, regulators, and the public including, inter alia: (i) holding out the Treasury Security sale process as an impartial, arms-length auction that reflected competitive market factors; (ii) stating that Treasury Security and Treasury Investment prices reflected normal market forces; (iii) maintaining the secrecy of the Treasury auction process; (iv) avoiding any discussion in public fora of manipulation of Treasury Security and Treasury Investment prices; (v) refusing to comment on, or affirmatively denying allegations of, manipulation reported by the press in or after June 2015; (vi) using non-public proprietary electronic communication platforms (e.g., electronic chatrooms, instant messaging, etc.) to exchange confidential customer information and coordinate their bidding and trading strategies; and (vii) actively attempting to hide the conspiracy by inflating yields in the secondary Treasury Security markets and suppressing prices in the Treasury Investment market in the hours leading up to Treasury auctions. 199. In addition, Defendants and their co-conspirators also failed to have the proper internal controls in place to detect internal misconduct concerning Treasury auctions. Such internal failures made it all the more difficult for Plaintiffs, the Class, government regulators, and the public to become aware of Defendants’ and their co-conspirators’ misconduct. Indeed, even following government investigations concerning other financial benchmark manipulation that Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 75 of 85 72 came to light in 2012 and 2013, the Defendants did not examine their internal controls surrounding Treasury auctions and chose instead to continue to conceal their misconduct. 200. For example, many Defendants did not ban their employees from using electronic chatrooms to communicate with their counterparts at other banks, if they have banned their employees from engaging in such communications at any point, until 2014.49 201. Such failures were not limited to a single Defendant. Instead, they are prevalent among the Defendants and their co-conspirators. For example, the CFTC found that HSBC failed to have adequate internal controls in place on its foreign currency desk to detect the manipulation of foreign currency benchmark prices. BaFin noted similar internal control failures at Deutsche Bank concerning LIBOR.50 The French financial regulator Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel has also found “serious shortcomings” in internal controls at Société Générale in the past.51 The Swiss financial regulator FINMA also found similar failures at UBS surrounding precious metals benchmarks. FINMA noted that although many in UBS were aware of manipulation and the fact that internal controls were deficient, UBS employees voluntarily chose not to take any action and instead helped to conceal the activity. 202. As a result of Defendants’ and their co-conspirators’ affirmative steps to conceal their improper conduct, their willful decision not to put in place proper controls to detect improper conduct, the self-concealing nature of the price-fixing conspiracy, and the resulting 49 See Scaggs, Kruger, and Geiger, supra. 50 Daniel Schäfer, German Regulator to Rell Deutsche Bank to Improve Controls, Financial Times (Aug. 12, 2013) (available at http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/4a036a28-0342- 11e3-b871-00144feab7de.html#axzz3jTt4BJTS). 51 Fabio Benedetti-Valentini, SocGen Blames Single Trader After $608 Million Penalty, Bloomberg (Dec. 4, 2013) (available at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-04/solcgenblames-single-trader-after-607-million-penalty.html). Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 76 of 85 73 lack of public information about material aspects of the conspiracy, collusion, and trading based on nonpublic information, the statute of limitations was tolled for Plaintiffs’ claims. CAUSES OF ACTION CLAIM ONE VIOLATION OF 15 U.S.C. § 1 AGREEMENT RESTRAINING TRADE 203. Plaintiffs hereby incorporate each preceding and succeeding paragraph as though fully set forth herein. 204. Defendants and their unnamed co-conspirators entered into and engaged in a combination and conspiracy that was an unreasonable and unlawful restraint of trade in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1, et seq. 205. During the Class Period, Defendants agreed to reduce competition amongst themselves by fixing and/or manipulating Treasury auction prices and, as a result, the price of Treasury Securities and Treasury Investments. 206. This conspiracy caused injury to both Plaintiffs and the Class by depriving them of the benefit of Treasury Security auctions reflecting true market conditions, as well as accurate Treasury security prices for some period before, during, and following Defendants’ unlawful conduct, and thus received, upon execution of their trades, less in value than they would have received absent Defendants’ wrongful conduct. Those who held swaps or other instruments whose cash flows were directly tied to the auction results, were similarly impacted by the manipulation in and around the auctions. 207. The conspiracy is a per se violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act. Alternatively, the conspiracy resulted in substantial anticompetitive effects in the Treasury Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 77 of 85 74 market. There is no legitimate business justification for, or pro-competitive benefits from, Defendants’ conduct. 208. As a direct and proximate result of Defendants’ violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act, Plaintiffs and the Class have suffered injury to their business and property throughout the Class Period. 209. Plaintiffs and the Class are entitled to treble damages for the violations of the Sherman Act alleged herein. Plaintiffs and the Class are also entitled to an injunction against Defendants preventing and restraining the violations alleged herein. CLAIM TWO VIOLATION OF 7 U.S.C. §§ 1 et seq. MANIPULATION IN VIOLATION OF THE COMMODITY EXCHANGE ACT, INCLUDING CFTC RULE 180.2 210. Plaintiffs incorporate by reference and reallege the preceding allegations as though fully set forth herein. 211. By their intentional misconduct, Defendants and their co-conspirators each violated Sections 6(c)(3) and 9(a)(2) of the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA”), 7 U.S.C. §§ 9(3), 13(a)(2), and CFTC Rule 180.2 adopted under the CEA (“Rule 180.2”) and caused prices of exchange-traded Treasury Investments, including Treasury futures and options, and the prices of the commodity underlying these instruments, to be artificial during the Class Period. 212. Defendants’ and their co-conspirators’ trading and other activities alleged herein constitute market manipulation of prices of exchange-traded Treasury Investments, including Treasury futures and options, and the prices of the commodity underlying these instruments, in violation of Sections 6(c)(3), 9(a), and 22(a) of the CEA, 7 U.S.C. §§ 9(3), 13(a) and 25(a), and Rule 180.2. Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 78 of 85 75 213. Defendants’ and their co-conspirators’ manipulation deprived Plaintiffs and the Class of a lawfully operating market during the Class Period. 214. Plaintiffs and others who transacted in exchange-traded Treasury Investments, including Treasury futures and options, during the Class Period transacted at artificial and unlawful prices resulting from Defendants’ and co-conspirators’ manipulations in violation of the CEA, 7 U.S.C. § 1, et seq., and Rule 180.2, and as a direct result thereof were injured and suffered damages. Plaintiffs each sustained and are entitled to actual damages for the violations of the CEA alleged herein. CLAIM THREE VIOLATION OF 7 U.S.C. §§ 1 et seq. EMPLOYMENT OF MANIPULATIVE OR DECEPTIVE DEVICE OR CONTRIVANCE IN VIOLATION OF THE COMMODITY EXCHANGE ACT, INCLUDING CFTC RULE 180.1 215. Plaintiffs incorporate by reference and reallege the preceding allegations as though fully set forth herein. 216. By their intentional misconduct, at least 2007 through the present, Defendants and their co-conspirators each violated Sections 6(c)(1) and 9(a)(2) of the CEA, 7 U.S.C. §§ 9(1), 13(a)(2), and CFTC Rule 180.1 adopted under the CEA (“Rule 180.1”) and caused prices of exchange-traded Treasury Investments, including Treasury futures and options, and the prices of the commodity underlying these instruments, to be artificial during the Class Period. 217. Defendants’ and their co-conspirators’ trading and other activities alleged herein constitute market manipulation of prices of exchange-traded Treasury Investments, including Treasury futures and options, and the prices of the commodity underlying these instruments, in violation of Sections 6(c)(1), 9(a), and 22(a) of the CEA, 7 U.S.C. §§ 9(1), 13(a) and 25(a), and Rule 180.1. Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 79 of 85 76 218. Defendants’ and their co-conspirators’ manipulation deprived Plaintiffs and the Class of a lawfully operating market during the Class Period. 219. Plaintiffs and others who transacted in exchange-traded Treasury Investments, including Treasury futures and options, during the Class Period transacted at artificial and unlawful prices resulting from Defendants’ and co-conspirators’ manipulations in violation of the CEA, 7 U.S.C. § 1, et seq., and Rule 180.1, and as a direct result thereof were injured and suffered damages. Plaintiffs each sustained and are entitled to actual damages for the violations of the CEA alleged herein. CLAIM FOUR VIOLATION OF 7 U.S.C. §§ 1 et seq. PRINCIPAL-AGENT LIABILITY IN VIOLATION OF THE COMMODITY EXCHANGE ACT 220. Plaintiffs incorporate by reference and reallege the preceding allegations as though fully set forth herein. 221. Each Defendant is liable under Section 2(a)(1)(B) of the CEA, 7 U.S.C. § 2(a)(1)(B), for the manipulative acts of their agents, representatives, and/or other persons acting for them in the scope of their employment. 222. Plaintiffs each sustained and are entitled to actual damages for the violations of the CEA alleged herein. Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 80 of 85 77 CLAIM FIVE VIOLATION OF 7 U.S.C. §§ 1 et seq. AIDING AND ABETTING LIABILITY IN VIOLATION OF THE COMMODITY EXCHANGE ACT 223. Plaintiffs incorporate by reference and reallege the preceding allegations as though fully set forth herein. 224. Defendants and their co-conspirators knowingly aided, abetted, counseled, induced and/or procured the violations of the CEA alleged herein. Defendants did so knowing of each other’s, and their co-conspirators’, manipulation of the Treasury security auctions, and willfully intended to assist these manipulations, which resulted in Treasury Investments, including Treasury futures and options, pricing becoming artificial during the Class Period in violation of Sections 13 and 22(a)(1) of the CEA, 7 U.S.C. §§ 13c(a), 25(a)(1). 225. Plaintiffs each sustained and are entitled to actual damages for the violations of the CEA alleged herein. CLAIM SIX UNJUST ENRICHMENT 226. Plaintiffs incorporate by reference and reallege the preceding allegations as though fully set forth herein. 227. Defendants were unjustly enriched as the expense of and to the detriment of Plaintiffs and members of the Class. As described above, the Defendants knowingly acted in an unfair, unconscionable, and oppressive manner toward Plaintiffs and members of the Class by manipulating Treasury Security and Treasury Investment yields and prices, in conscious and/or reckless disregard for the Class members’ rights. Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 81 of 85 78 228. Defendants were unjustly enriched at the expense of the Plaintiffs and members of the Class when the Defendants: paid Class members less for Treasury Securities and/or Treasury Investments at or around the time of Treasury auctions than they would have otherwise received absent Defendants’ collusion; received payments from Class members for Treasury options that then expired out of the money due to Defendants’ collusion; and/or, due to Defendants’ collusion, received more from Class member floating rate payers on Treasury Security-linked interest rate swaps to which Defendants were the counterparties. 229. Plaintiffs and members of the Class have no adequate remedy at law for these misappropriated gains. The Court should issue a constructive trust compelling counterparty Defendants to disgorge to Plaintiffs and members of the Class all unlawful or inequitable proceeds counterparty Defendants received, and all funds counterparty Defendants unjustly retained that should have been paid to Plaintiffs and members of the Class. Plaintiffs and members of the Class are also entitled to rescission of the transactions or rescissory damages. 230. The counterparty banks worked in concert and entered into a civil conspiracy and corrupt agreement to manipulate Treasury Security and Treasury Investment yields. Whereas a particular Defendant may not have profited off one transaction when viewed in isolation, the conspiracy allowed all Defendants to profit. Accordingly, any Defendant not in privity on a given transaction is included in this Claim as co-conspirator. 231. As described above, all Defendants committed numerous overt acts in furtherance of that conspiracy and agreement, as detailed above, including coordinating anomalous bidding activities during the Treasury auctions, and manipulating yields in the when-issued, futures, and secondary markets. Defendants acted with malice, and intended to injure investors and the Plaintiffs and members of the Class through the actions described herein. Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 82 of 85 79 232. Each Defendant was at all relevant times fully aware of the conspiracy and substantially furthered it as set forth above. 233. Plaintiffs and members of the Class seek restoration of the monies of which they were unfairly and improperly deprived, as described herein. PRAYER FOR RELIEF Plaintiffs demand relief as follows: A. That the Court certify this lawsuit as a class action under Rules 23(a), (b)(2), and (b)(3) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, that Plaintiffs be designated as class representatives, and that Plaintiffs’ counsel be appointed as Class counsel for the Class; B. That the unlawful conduct alleged herein be adjudged and decreed to violate Section 1 of the Sherman Act; C. That Defendants be permanently enjoined and restrained from continuing and maintaining the conspiracy alleged in the Complaint; D. That the Court award Plaintiffs and the Class damages against Defendants for their violations of federal antitrust laws, in an amount to be trebled in accordance with such laws, plus interest; E. That the Court find that Defendants violated the CEA and award appropriate damages; F. That the Court award monetary losses suffered by Class Members that were in contractual or quasi-contractual relationships with a Defendant or an affiliate thereof; G. That the Court award Plaintiffs and the Classes their costs of suit, including reasonable attorneys’ fees and expenses, as provided by law; and H. That the Court direct such further relief it may deem just and proper. Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 83 of 85 80 DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL Pursuant to Rule 38(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Plaintiffs demand a jury trial as to all issues triable by a jury. DATED: New York, New York August 26, 2015 COHEN MILSTEIN SELLERS & TOLL PLLC QUINN EMANUEL URQUHART & SULLIVAN, LLP By: /s/ J. Douglas Richards By: /s/ Daniel L. Brockett J. Douglas Richards Michael Eisenkraft 88 Pine Street, 14th Floor New York, New York 10005 Telephone: (212) 838-7797 Fax: (212) 838-7745 drichards@cohenmilstein.com meisenkraft@cohemilstein.com Carol V. Gilden (pro hac vice application forthcoming) 190 South LaSalle Street, Suite 1705 Chicago, IL 60603 Telephone : (312) 357-0370 cgilden@cohenmilstein.com Manuel John Dominguez (pro hac vice application forthcoming) 2925 PGA Boulevard, Suite 200 Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410 Telephone: (561) 833-6575 dominguez@cohenmilstein.com David A. Young (pro hac vice application forthcoming) 1100 New York Avenue NW, Suite 500 Washington, DC 20005 Telephone: (202) 408-4600 dyoung@cohenmilstein.com Daniel L. Brockett Sascha N. Rand Steig D. Olson 51 Madison Avenue, 22nd Floor New York, New York 10010 Telephone: (212) 849-7000 Fax: (212) 849-7100 danbrockett@quinnemanuel.com sascharand@quinnemanuel.com steigolson@quinnemanuel.com Karl S. Stern (pro hac vice application forthcoming) 711 Louisiana Street, Suite 500 Houston, Texas 77002 Telephone: (713) 221-7000 Fax: (713) 221-7100 karlstern@quinnemanuel.com Jeremy D. Andersen (pro hac vice application forthcoming) Adam B. Wolfson Chris R. Barker (pro hac vice application forthcoming) 865 South Figueroa Street, 10th Floor Los Angeles, California 90017 Telephone: (213) 443-3000 Fax: (213) 443-3100 jeremyandersen@quinnemanuel.com adamwolfson@quinnemanuel.com chrisbarker@quinnemanuel.com Case 1:15-cv-06782 Document 1 Filed 08/26/15 Page 84 of 85 81 KOHN SWIFT & GRAF, P.C. MORGAN & MORGAN Joseph C. Kohn William E. Hoese One South Broad Street Suite 2100 Philadelphia, PA 19107 Telephone: (215) 238-1700 Fax: (215) 238-1968 jkohn@kohnswift.com whoese@kohnswift.com Peter Safirstein Domenico Minerva 28 West 44th Street Suite 2001 New York, New York 10036 Telephone: (212) 564-1637 PSafirstein@ForThePeople.com DMinerva@ForThePeople.com Attorneys for Plaintiffs Cleveland Bakers and Teamsters Pension Fund, Cleveland Bakers and Teamsters Health and Welfare Fund, MASTERINVEST Kapitalanlage GmbH, and
RaboBank traders indictment ... source
Case 1:14-cr-00272-JSR Document 24filed 10/16/14 Page 1of36 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK UNITED STATES OF AMERJCA v .. ANTHONY ALLEN, PAUL THOMPSON, TETSUY A MO TO MURA, and ANTHONY CONTI, Defendants. Superseding Indictment Crim. No. Sl I:! 4-cr-00272-JSR VIOLATIONS: 18 U.S.C. Sections 1349 (Conspiracy), 1343 (Wire Fraud) & 2 (Aiding and Abetting), and Forfeiture. INDICTMENT The grand jury charges that, at all times relevant to this Indictment: COUNT ONE (Conspiracy) General Allegations 1. The London Interbank Offered Rate ("LIBOR") was a benchmark interest rate overseen by the British Bankers' Association ("BBA"), a trade association based in London, United Kingdom representing approximately 200 banks from more than 60 countries. 2. LIBOR was calculated every London business day by averaging the interest rates at which designated banks ("Contributor Panel" banks) perceived that they could borrow unsecured funds from other banks across ten currencies, including U.S. Dollar ("USD'') and the Japanese Yen ("Yen"). Contributor Panel banks for each currency submitted their perceived borrowing rates for fifteen different borrowing periods ("maturities" or "tenors"), ranging in length from overnight to one year, including maturities of one month, three months, and six months (commonly referred to on paper as "lm," "3m," and "6m"). Thomson Reuters, acting as an agent for the BBA, received electronically the Contributor Panel banks' interest rate submissions at or before approximately 11: 10 a.m. in London. Among other currencies, Thomson Reuters received the interest rate submissions for the USD and Yen LIBOR from sixteen designated Contributor Panel banks, specifically from bank employees referred to as "submitters" or "setters." Upon receipt of the sixteen Contributor Panel banks' Yen LIBOR submissions, Thomson Reuters: (a) ranked the submissions from highest to lowest; (b) excluded the four highest and four lowest submissions; and ( c) averaged the remaining middle eight submissions to determine the official USD and Yen LIBOR setting (also referred to as the "fix") used to settle trades and as a reference rate for various financial products. This process was repeated for each different maturity or tenor. Contributor Panel banks' USD and Yen LIBOR submissions were between two and five decimal places, and the published USD and Yen LIBOR fix was rounded, if necessary, to five decimal places. In the context of measuring interest rates, one "basis point" (or "bp") was one-hundredth of one percent (0.01 percent). 3. By approximately 12:00 p.m. in the United Kingdom, Thomson Reuters published the averaged rates - or LIBORs - to, among others, Bloomberg LP network equipment which thereafter transmitted the LIBORs to servers located in New York, New York and elsewhere. Thomson Reuters as a general matter, pursuant to service agreements with various clients, transmitted the rates to servers and traders of LIBOR-based financial products around the world, including to those located in New York, New York and elsewhere. 4. The published LIBOR rates were used as the basis for the pricing of fixed-income futures, options, swaps, forward rate agreements, and other derivative instruments. Interest rate swaps involved an agreement between counterparties to exchange payments in the future: one 2 Case 1:14-cr-00272-JSR Document 24 Filed 10/16/14 Page 2 of 36 Case 1:14-cr-00272-JSR Document 24 Filed 10/16/14 Page 3 of 36 counterparty paid a fixed rate while the other paid a variable rate. Generally, the fixed rate was agreed upon at the outset by the counterparties and the variable rate was set at some point in the future. Often times, the variable rate was based on a reference rate such as USD or Yen LIBOR. The actual value of the contract could not be determined until the date on which the variable rate was set. At that point, payment amounts were determined, and, depending on the value of the variable rate, one party made money and the other lost money. 5. Traders made predictions on where LIBORs would set in the future. Traders, on behalf of their respective financial institutions, often entered into multiple derivatives contracts containing LIBORs as a price component based on those views. Therefore, the profit and loss that flowed from those contracts was directly affected by the relevant LIBORs on certain dates. If the relevant LIBORs moved in the direction favorable to the trader's position, the financial institution and the trader benefitted at the expense of their counterparties. When the traders' predictions were wrong and LIBOR moved in an unfavorable direction., the traders and the financial institutions stood to lose money to their. counterparties. 6. Because traders often took large derivative positions, even small moves in the LIBOR fix could result in large s·wings in profits or losses from trades. 7. USD and Yen LIB OR globally impacted transactions and financial products tied to USD and Yen LIBOR. In addition to being used to price derivative products, financial institutions and other lenders in the United States and elsewhere frequently used LIBOR to set their own reference interest rates for financial instruments and consumer lending products, which included mortgages, credit cards, and student loans, among others. 3 Case 1:14-cr-00272-JSR Document 24 Filed 10/16/14 Page 4 of 36 8. A Contributor Panel bank's submission was to be an independent assessment of that bank's perceived borrowing costs, and not altered to reflect trading positions that stood to gain or Jose based on LIBOR rates. 9. Because LIBOR was calculated as an average of banks' submissions, ifa bank coordinated its submission with another Contributor Panel bank, it could affect the fix more significantly than if it manipulated only its own submission. 10. One of the USD and Yen LIBOR Contributor Panel banks was Cooperatieve Centrale Raiffeisen-Boerenleenbank B.A. ("Rabobank"), a financial institution and global financial services company headquartered in Utrecht, the Netherlands with branches in the United States that were insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). 11. From at least in or about May 2006 through at least in or about early 2012, Takayuki Yagami ("Yagami") was a Senior Trader on Rabobank's Money Market/FX Forwards desks in Tokyo, Japan and elsewhere in Asia Y agami traded derivative products that referenced Yen LIBOR. Because these trades were settled based on the published Yen LIBOR, the profitability of Y agami' s trading positions depended on the direction in which Yen LIBORs moved. 12. From at least May 2006 through at least November 2008, Paul Robson a/k/a "Pookie," a/k/a "Pooks" ("Robson") worked as a Senior Trader at Rabobank's Money Markets and Short Term Forwards desk in London. From in or about January 2006 until at least November 2008, he served as Rabobank's primary submitter of Yen LIBOR to the BBA. At times during this period, Robson acted as a back-up USD LIBOR submitter. Starting sometime in 2009, Robson worked at a brokerage firm in the United Kingdom and thereafter moved to a London-based office of a Japanese bank. At times during his tenure at Rabobank, Robson traded 4 Case 1:14-cr-00272-JSR Document 24 Filed 10/16/14 Page 5 of 36 derivative products that referenced Yen LIBOR. Because these trades were settled based on the published Yen LIBOR, the profitability of Robson's trading positions depended on the direction in which Yen LIBORs moved. 13. From at least in or about September 2002 through at least in or about December 2005, Trader-RI was a trader at Rabobank in London, England. From at least April 2006 through in or about August 2008, Trader-RI was a trader at Rabobank at Rabobank's New York office, which was located at 245 Park Avenue in New York, New York. Trader-RI traded derivative products that referenced USD LIBOR. Because these trades were settled based on the published USD LIBOR, the profitability of Trader-RI 's trading positions depended on the direction in which USD LIBORs moved. As set forth below, Trader-RI sought to manipulate USD LIBOR from New York, New York. 14. From at least in or about January 2005 through about January 2009, Trader-R2 was a senior trader on the Short Dated Forwards and Overnight Index Swap Desk in London. In January 2009 Trader-R2 moved to the Short Dated Forwards and Overnight Index Swap Desk in Utrecht, Netherlands and remained there through at least in or about December 2010. From at least in or about January 2006 through about June 2009, Trader-R2 was a backup submitter for YenLIBOR. 15. From at least in or about 1993 through about 2009, Trader-R3 was a senior trader at Rabobank's London desk. At times during that period, Trader-R3 supervised Trader-Rl. Also during that period, Trader-R3 traded derivative products that referenced USD LIBOR. Because such trades were settled based on the published USD LIBOR, the profitability ofTrader-R3's trading positions depended on the direction in which USD LIBORs moved. 5 Case 1:14-cr-00272-JSR Document 24 Filed 10/16/14 Page 6 of 36 16. From at least 1998 through 2000, Submitter-RI worked in Rabobank's Utrecht Netherlands office where he traded Repurchase Agreements. From at least 2000 to at least 2008, Submitter-RI worked at Rabobank's Money Markets and Short Term Forwards Desk in London, U.K. where he traded Repurchase Agreements, Overnight Index Swaps, and derivative products that referenced USD LIBOR. While working in London, Submitter-RI was a backup submitter for USD LIBOR. 17. From at least 2006 through about December 2010, Submitter-R2 was a senior Money Markets dealer based in Utrecht. During this time Submitter-R2 had primary responsibility for making Rabobank's EURIBOR submission. At times during this period Submitter-R2 was tbe primary or backup submitter for USD LIBOR. 18. Another of the Yen LIBOR Contributor Panel banks was Lloyds Banking Group plc ("Lloyds"), a global financial services company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. 19. Submitter-A worked for Lloyds TSB as a trader from at least May 2006 to at least October 2008. At times while employed at Lloyds TSB, Submitter-A was responsible for making the bank's Yen LIBOR submissions. 20. Another of the Yen LIBOR Contributor Panel banks was UBS AG, a financial institution located in Zurich, Switzerland. Tom Hayes worked for UBS AG as a trader from at least July 2006 to at least September 2009. 21. Bank-B was a federally chartered and insured financial institution within the definition of Title 18, United States Code, Section 20 and was headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. 6 Case 1:14-cr-00272-JSR Document 24 Filed 10/16/14 Page 7 of 36 22. Bank-C was a federally chartered and insured financial institution within the definition of Title 18, United States Code, Section 20 and was headquartered in New York, New York. The Defendants 23. From at least in or about January 2005 through about October 2008, defendant ANTHONY ALLEN ("ALLEN") was the Global Head of Liquidity and Finance at Rabobank's London desk. During that time, ALLEN supervised, among other things, the LIBOR submission process and the money market and derivative trading at Rabobank' s London desk. These responsibilities included, at times, supervising ANTHONY CONTI, Paul Robson, Traders-RI and R2, and Submitter-Rl. At times during this period, ALLEN acted as a back-up USD and Yen LIBOR submitter. ALLEN traded derivative products that referenced USO LIBOR. Because these trades were settled based on the published USD LIBOR, the profitability of ALLEN's trading positions depended on the direction in which USO LIBORs moved. ALLEN was a member of the BBA Steering Committee, a group of financial professionals who provided the BBA with advice on the calculation of the LIBOR rate as well as recommendations concerning which financial institutions should sit on the LIBOR panel. 24. From at least in or about June 2006 through at least in or about October 2007, defendant PAUL THOMPSON ("THOMPSON") was Rabobank's Head of Money Market and Derivatives Trading for Northeast Asia. In or about October 2007, he was promoted to Executive Director of local currency trading for Asia, and from in or about November 20 I 0 to at least in or about January 2011 be was a Managing Director and head of liquidity and finance for Rabobank Asia. At times during that period, THOMPSON traded derivative products that ' referenced USD and Yen LIBOR. Because these trades were settled based on the published 7 Case 1:14-cr-00272-JSR Document 24 Filed 10/16/14 Page 8 of 36 USD and Yen LIBOR, the profitability of THOMPSON's trading positions depended on the direction in which USD and Yen LIBORs moved. 25. From at least in or about May 2006 through at least late 2010, defendant TETSUY A MOTOMURA a/k/a "Moto man" ("MOTOMURA") was a Senior Trader and Head of Global Financial Markets Trading-Tokyo at Rabobank's Tokyo desk. During that time, MOTOMURA supervised money market and derivative traders employed at Rabobank's Tokyo desk, including, at times, Y agami. MOTOMURA traded derivative products that referenced Yen LIBOR. Because these trades were settled based on the published Yen LIBOR, the profitability of MOTOMURA's trading positions depended on the direction in which Yen LIBORs moved. 26. From at least in or about January 2005 through about December 2008, ANTHONY CONTI ("CONTI") was a senior trader on Rabobank's Money Markets Trading Desk in London. In about late 2008 to early 2009, CONTI moved to the Money Markets Trading Desk in Utrecht, Netherlands and remained there through at least in or about April 2009. Also during those periods, CONTI traded derivative products that referenced USD LIBOR. Because such trades were settled based on the published USD LIBOR, the profitability of CONTI's trading positions depended on the direction in which USD LIBORs moved. From about May 2006 through about April 2009 CONTI was the primary submitter for USD LIBOR. At times, CONTI acted as a back-up Yen LIBOR submitter. The Conspiracy 27. From at least in or about May 2006 through at least in or about early 2011, in the Southern District ofNew York and elsewhere, ANTHONY ALLEN, PAUL THOMPSON, TETSUY A MOTOMURA, and ANTHONY CONTI, tbe defendants, together with Paul Robson., Takayuki Yagami, Trader-RI, Trader-R2, Trader-R3, Submitter-RI, and Submitter-A, and others 8 Case 1:14-cr-00272-JSR Document 24 Filed 10/16/14 Page 9 of 36 known and unknown, did knowingly combine, conspire, confederate, and agree to commit certain offenses against the United States, that is: (A) to devise and intend to devise a scheme and artifice to defraud, and to obtain money and property by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises, and to transmit and cause to be transmitted certain wire communications in interstate and foreign commerce for the purpose of executing the scheme, all affecting a financial institution; to wit, the defendants engaged in a scheme to manipulate and attempt to manipulate to their advantage the benc.hmark interest rates referenced by derivative products throughout the financial industry, by the dissemination, and submission, of false and fraudulent statements intended to influence and manipulate the benchmark interest rates to which the profitability of interest rate derivative trades was tied, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343; and (B) to execute and attempt to execute a scheme and artifice to defraud a financial institution, the deposits for which were at the time insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; and to obtain and attempt to obtain moneys, funds, credits, assets, and other properties owned by and under the custody and control of a financial institution by means of materially 'false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises, as well as by omission of material. facts in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1344. The Scheme 28. From at least in or about May 2006 through at least in or about early 2011, ANTHONY ALLEN, PAUL THOMPSON, TETSUY A MOTOMURA, ANTHONY CONTI, 9 Case 1:14-cr-00272-JSR Document 24 Filed 10/16/14 Page 10 of 36 the defendants, together with Paul Robson, Takayuki Yagami, Trader-Rl, Trader-R2, Trader-R3, Submitter-RJ, Submitter- R2, and Submitter-A, at times located in Tokyo, Japan; London, England; New York, New York; Utrecht, the Netherlands; and elsewhere, and others known and unknown to the grand jury, intending to manipulate and attempt to manipulate to their advantage the benchmark interest rates referenced by derivative products throughout the financial industry, engaged in a scheme to obtain money and property by making false and fraudulent USD and Yen LIBOR submissions to the BBA for inclusion in the calculation of USD and Yen LIBOR. The scheme had an effect on one or more financial institutions, within the meaning of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 20 and 3293(2). The conduct of the conspirators caused financial institutions to be susceptible to substantial risk of loss and to suffer actual loss. At all times material to this Indictment, ALLEN, THOMPSON, MOTOMURA, and CONTI knew and foresaw that Rabobank had counterparties in the United States which had taken financial positions that would be negatively affected by their scheme to manipulate the LIBOR benchmark interest rate. At all times material to this Indictment, ALLEN, THOMPSON, MOTOMURA, and CONTI knew and foresaw that entities in the United States were trading derivative swaps the profitability of which was linked to Yen and USD LIBOR. Manner and Means 29. In order to further the objects and goals of the conspiracy, ANTHONY ALLEN, PAUL THOMPSON, and TETSUY A MOTOMURA, and ANTHONY CONTI, the defendants, together with Robson, Yagami, Trader-RI, Trader-R2, Trader-R3, Submitter-Rl, Submitter-R2, Submitter-A, and others known and unknown to the grand jury used the following manners and means, among others: 10 Case 1:14-cr-00272-JSR Document 24 Filed 10/16/14 Page 11 of 36 a ALLEN, who supervised Rabobank's submission process-for LIBOR, directed Rabobank traders to advise Rabobank' s LIBO R setters of any financial interest they had in LIBOR on a particular day and also directed Rabobank's LIBOR setters to seek out that information and make LIBOR submissions that favored the traders' positions. b. Rabobank traders who entered into derivative swap agreements the profitability of which was tied to the LIBOR benchmark- including ALLEN, THOMPSON, MOTOMURA, Y agami, Trader-RI, Trader-R2, and Trader-R3 - asked Rabobank LIBOR setters to make USD and Yen LIBOR submissions that favored the traders' derivative positions and Rabobank LIBOR submitters - including ALLEN, CONTI, Robson, Submitter-RI, and Submitter-R2 - accommodated those requests by making USD and Yen LIBOR submissions that were intended to benefit Rabobank' s traders ra1her than making submissions that reflected the perceived rate at which Rabobank could borrow unsecured funds. At times, the Rabobank LIBOR submitters submitted rates that benefitted their own trading positions. c. From at least May 2006 through at least November 2008, Robson had primary responsibility for making Rabobank's Yen LIBOR submissions to the BBA. d. THOMPSON, MOTOMURA, Robson, and Yagami traded derivative products whose value was tied to the Yen LIBOR fix. e. Traders such as THOMPSON, MOTOMURA, and Yagami requested that Robson and other Rabobank Yen LIBOR submitters, including, at times, ALLEN and CONTI, make Yen LIBOR submissions that benefitted the traders' positions. 11 Case 1:14-cr-00272-JSR Document 24 Filed 10/16/14 Page 12 of 36 f. At times, Robson accommodated such requests by making and causing false and fraudulent Yen LIBOR submissions to be made. Sometimes Robson submitted rates at a specific level requested by a defendant or Y agami and consistent with the requester's interests. Other times, Robson made a higher or lower Yen LIBOR submission consistent with the direction requested by a co-defendant or Y agami and consistent with the requester's interests. Robson also took his own positions into consideration. The manipulations and attempted manipulations of the Yen LIBOR submissions were intended to benefit the trading positions of Rabobank traders to the detriment of, among others, Rabobank's counterparties to derivative contracts. g. Robson, in addition to manipulating Rabobank's Yen LIBOR submission on behalf of one or more co-defendants or Yagami, occasionally coordinated his Yen LIBOR submission with Submitter-A at Lloyds. At times Robson submitted Yen LIBOR at a level requested by Submitter-A, and, at other times, Submitter-A submitted Yen LIBOR at a level requested by Robson. h. From at least May 2006 through at least April 2009, CONTI had primary responsibility for making Rabobank's USD LIBOR submissions to the BBA. i. ALLEN, THOMPSON, Trader-RI, Trader-R2, and Trader-R3 traded derivative products whose value was tied to the USD LIBOR fix. J. ALLEN, THOMPSON, Trader-RI, Trader-R2, and Trader-R3 requested that CONTI and other Rabobank USD LIBOR submitters make USD LIBOR submissions that benefitted their trading positions. These individuals often sat at the same desk and most commonly made such requests in person. At times, 12 Case 1:14-cr-00272-JSR Document 24 Filed 10/16114 Page 13 of 36 Yagami requested that ALLEN and CONTI make Yen LIBOR submissions that benefitted his trading positions. k. At times, CONTI accommodated such requests by making and causing false and fraudulent USD LIBOR submissions to be made. Sometimes CONTI submitted rates at a specific level requested by a co-defendant or Traders-RI, R2, and R3 and consistent with the requester's interests. Other times, CONTI made a higher or lower USD LIBOR submission consistent with the direction requested by a defendant or Traders-RI, R2, and R3 and consistent with the requester's interests. CONTI also took his own positions into consideration. The manipulations and attempted manipulations of the USD LIBOR submissions were intended to benefit the trading positions of Rabobank traders to the detriment of, among others, Rabobank's counterparties to derivative contracts. l. On many occasions, the combined effect ofRabobank's and Lloyds' false and fraudulent submissions moved the Yen LIBOR fix more than it otherwise would have if Rabobank alone submitted manipulated rates. m. After January 2009, when Rabobank's Yen LIBOR submitters moved to Utrecht, and until at least November 2010, Yagami continued to send multiple requests for Yen UBOR rates that benefitted his trading positions to the Rabobank submitters for them to submit to the BBA. Overt Acts 30. In furtherance of the conspiracy and to effect the illegal objects thereof, the following overt acts, among others, were committed in the Southern District of New York and elsewhere: 13 Case 1:14-cr-00272-JSR Document 24 Filed 10/16/14 Page 14 of 36 September 2. 2005 through September 6, 2005 31. On or about September 2, 2005, Trader-R3 stated to CONTI that he would "prefer 1 and 3 month Libor on the high side for the next couple of days if possible." 32. On or about September 5, 2005, the following Monday, Rabobank submitted a!- month USD LIBOR rate of3.69 percent, which was two basis points higher than the previous day, moving Rabobank's submission from second lowest to tied for sixth lowest on the panel. 33. On or about September 6, 2005, Rabobank submitted a_ 3-month USD LIBOR rate of 3.8 percent, which was three basis points higher than the day before, moving Rabobank's submission from tied for second lowest to the highest on the panel. May 10 and May 11, 2006 34. On or about May 10, 2006, Robson stated to Submitter-A that, "for info i've been asked by my singapore man [THOMPSON] to help him out with a silly low 6m fixing today." 35. Later that same day, Robson admitted to Y agami, "it must be pretty embarrasing to set such a low libor (I was very embarrased to sey my 6 mth- but wanted to help thomo [THOMPSON]). tomorrow it will be more like 33 from me." 36. On or about May l 0, 2006, Rabobank submitted a 6-month Yen LIBOR rate of 0.26 percent, which was one basis point lower than the previous day, moving Rabobank's submission down from the panel's second highest to tied for second lowest, while the other panel banks submissions increased by an average seven basis points. 37. On or about May 11, 2006, the following day, THOMPSON thanked Robson "for yest" and indicated that he needed "6 mth Libor" low again. 38. On or about May-] 1, 2006, Robson responded, "6m sets at 31 today mate ... will put in something rediculously low again tho - no probs." 14 Case 1:14-cr-00272-JSR Document 24 Filed 10/16/14 Page 15 of 36 39. On or about May 11, 2006, Rabobank su5mitted a 6-month Yen LIBORrate of 0.28 percent, remaining at second lowest. May 19, 2006 40. On or about May 19, 2006, after THOMPSON informed Robson that his net exposure for his 3-month fixes was 125 billion Yen, he requested that Robson, "sneak your 3m libor down a cheeky 1 or 2 bp" because "it will make a bit of difffor me." 41. On or about May 19, 2006, Robson responded, ''No prob mate I mark it low." 42. On or about May 19, 2006, Rabobank submitted a 3-month Yen LIBOR rate of 0.17 percent, four basis points lower than Rabobank's submission the day before, moving its submission from the panel's second highest to tied for the lowest July 17, 2006 43. On or about July 17, 2006, Trader-RI, who was in New York, New York, asked CONTI for a "really low 3s today." CONTI replied that this request was opposite Trader-R3's position, saying, "You're going toe to toe with the ambass [Trader-R3] at the moment mate." Trader-RI then stated that his position had changed as well, telling CONTI, "Whatever the ambass (Trader-R3] wants, if any chance, a high 3mth today pl!" 44. On or about July 17, 2006, Rabobank submitted a 3-month USD LIBOR rate of 5.49 percent, moving the submission from tied for the lowest submission to tied for the third highest submission. July 27, 2006 and July 28, 2006 45. On or about July 27, 2006, Robson wrote to Submitter-A, "morning skip .... my little yellow friend in tokyo [Yagarni] wants a high lm fix from me today .... am going to set .37 -just 15 Case 1:14-cr-00272-JSR Document 24 Filed 10/16/14 Page 16 of 36 for your info sir." To this, Submitter-A responded, "that suits me mate as got some month end fixings so happy to ablige .. rubbery jubbery.:-0" 46. On or aboutJuly 27, 2006, Lloyds submitted a I-month Yen LIBOR rate of 0.37 percent, two basis points higher than Lloyds' submission the day before, moving its submission from tied for the panel's lowest to tied with Rabobank for the second highest submissioIL Rabobank also submitted a I-month Yen LIBOR rate of 0.37 percent. 47. On or about July 28, 2006, after Robson wrote to Submitter-A, "morning skipper. .... will be setting an obscenely high lm again today ... poss 38 just fyi." Submitter-A responded, "(K) ... oh dear .. rny poor customers .... hehehe! ! manual input libors again today 48. On or about July 28, 2006, Lloyds and Rabobank both submitted 1-month Yen LIBOR rates of0.38 percent, which tied the submission for the second highest submission that day on the panel. October 31, 2006 49. On or about October 3I, 2006, Trader-Rl, who was in New York, New York, asked CONTI for "small favour as usual, low 2s high 3s if possible matey," to which CONTI replied, "Will do matey on the libors .. good luck." 50. On or about October 31, 2006, Rabobank submitted a 2-month USD LIBOR rate of 5.35 percent, half a basis point lower than the previous day, moving the submission from tied for fourth lowest to the lowest submission on the panel. 51. On or about October 31, 2006, Rabobank submitted a 3-rnonth USD LIBOR rate of 5.375 percent, half a basis point higher than the previous day, moving the submission from tied for second lowest to the fifth highest submission on the panel. 16 Case 1:14-cr-00272-JSR Document 24 Filed 10/16/14 Page 17 of 36 November 8, 2006 and November 9, 2006 52. On or about November 8, 2006, THOMPSON stated to Robson, "Got a few big 3mth fixings in next 2 days, any chance you cud bump it up a couple? What do u actually think 3mth today 45.25 -45.5 ish?" 53. On that same day, Robson responded, "will set them high and dry skip." 54. On or about November 8, 2006, Rabobank submitted a 3-month Yen LIBOR rate of 0.46 percent, which was 3 basis points higher than its previous day's submission, moving it from tied for the panel's second lowest to tied for the panel's third highest 55. On or about November 9, 2006, the following day, THOMPSON stated, "Thx skip, 1 more today -- 3mths." 56. On that same day, Robson responded that he would set it high again asking "is 46 lvl ok or higherT' 57. On or about November 9, 2006, Rabobank again submitted a 3-month Yen LIBOR rate of 0.46 percent, keeping Rabobank' s submission tied for the panel's third highest. November 16, 2006 58. On or about November 16, 2006, Trader-R3 stated to Trader-RI, "I want a low 3's tomorrow ... .I'm short 5 yards. 37 will do!" Trader-Rl, who was in New York, New York, responded that he had the opposite interest, writing, "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH high 3s pls guvnor." November 29, 2006 59. On or about November 29, 2006, Trader-Rl, who was in New York, New York, asked ALLEN, who at the time was the USD LIBOR backup submitter, for "low ls high 3s 17 Case 1:14-cr-00272-JSR Document 24 Filed 10/16/14 Page 18 of 36 Libor pls ! ! ! Dont tell the am bass [Trader-R3] haa baaaaaaa "ALLEN responded, "OK mate, will do my best ... Speak later." 60. On or about November 29, 2006, Rabobank submitted a I-month USD LIBOR rate of 5.345 percent, moving its submission from tied for second lowest to tied for fourth lowest. 61. On or about November, 29, 2006, Rabobank submitted a 3-month USD LIBOR rate of 5.37 percent, the same rate as the previous day, moving Rabobank's submission from being tied for third lowest the previous day to tied for second highest. December 1. 2006 62. On or about December 1, 2006, Trader-RI, noting that 3-month USD LIBOR was trending down, stated to ALLEN, "a high 3s today would be nice ... cheers chief" ALLEN responded, "I am fast turning into your LIBOR bitch!!!!" to which Trader-RI, who was in New York, New York, wrote, "Just friendly encouragement that's all, appreciate the help." ALLEN responded, "No worries mate , glad to help." December 13, 2006 63. On or about December 13, 2006, THOMPSON stated to Robson, "Wouldn't mind slightly higher Im and slightly lower 6m if you have any room over the next 5 days .. got a few biggies rolling off." 64. On or about December 13, 2006, Rabobank submitted a I-month Yen LIBOR rate of 0.48 percent, one basis point higher than Rabobank's submission the day before, moving Rabobank's submission from the middle of the panel to tied for the panel's third highest. 65. On or about December 13, 2006, Rabobank submitted a 6-month Yen LIBOR rate of 0.60 percent, 4 basis points lower than Rabobank's submission the day before, moving Rabobank' s submission from the middle of the panel to the panel's lowest. 18 Case 1:14-cr-00272-JSR Document 24 Filed 10/16/14 Page 19 of 36 December 18. 2006 66. On or about December 18, 2006, after Yagami informed THOMPSON that he needed a high 1-month, THOMPSON responded that he would tell the person he believed to be submitting rates that day "to put a high ls for you." THOMPSON further clarified that he would inform the backup submitter, "for choice put it higher rather than lower" and explained "I don't like to tell them in too black and white but Pookie [Robson] always understands." 67. On or about December 18, 2006, THOMPSON sent an email to the senior trader he believed to be submitting Rabobank's Yen LIBOR rates that day, stating, "your in the yen libors hot seat in Pooks absence. If in doubt can you go higher on 1 m and 3m please as both myself and Tokyo are very long these fixings today so every little bit helps." March 16, 2007 and March 19. 2007 68. On or about March 16, 2007, Trader-Rl, who was in New York, New York, told ALLEN, "high 3mth libor on Monday pls." ALLEN replied, "ok will tell conti." March 22, 2007 and March 23, 2007 69. On or about March 22, 2007, Robson told Submitter-A that he needed a high I-month Yen LIB OR "set tomorrow" and stated, ''if you can ask your man to set a nice high one like today pls?" 70. On or about March 22, 2007, Submitter-A forwarded Robson's message to a colleague at Lloyds stating, "We usually try and help each other out...but only if it suits." 71. On the following day, on or about March 23, 2007, Lloyds submitted a 1-month Yen LIBOR rate of0.76 percent, the same rate as the previous day, keeping Lloyds' submission as the highest on the panel. 19 Case 1:14-cr-00272-JSR Document 24 Filed 10/16/14 Page 20 of 36 March 26, 2007 through March 30, 2007 72. On or about March 26, 2007, THOMPSON asked Robson, "On libors, this week have a fair bit of 6mths rolling off, I am short so if you can discreetly drop your 6m by 1-2 bp without any trouble would be great - if not no probs mate." 73. On that same date, Robson responded, "sure no prob - all my stuff is mainly 1 mth so will keep that high and drop 6's cheers." 74. On or about March 26, 2007, Rabobank submitted a 6-month Yen LIBOR rate of 0.74 percent. Over the course of that week, Rabobank's 6-month Yen LIBOR submissions dropped four basis points and went from being tied for second highest on the panel to being tied for lowest on the panel. Rabobank's ]-month Yen LIBOR submission on March 26, 2007, stayed at the same level as the previous day and was tied for the second highest of all panel banks. March 28. 2007 and March 29, 2007 75. On or about March 28, 2007, Trader-RI, who was in New York, New York, stated to CONTI and ALLEN that for the following day, "Low 3s Libor would be great if no one else has any preferences." 76. On or about March 29, 2007, Rabobank submitted a 3-montb USD LIBOR rate of 5.345 percent, which was half a basis point lower than Rabobank's March 28, 2007 and March 30, 2007 submissions. April 9, 2007 and April 10, 2007 77. On or about April 9, 2007, Trader-RI, who was in New York, New York requested that CONTI submit "High 3s tomorrow pls TC [CONTI]." 78. On or about April 10, 2007, Rabobank submitted a 3-rnonth USD LIBOR rate of 5.36 percent, which was one basis point higher than the previous day. 20 Case 1:14-cr-00272-JSR Document 24 Filed 10/16/14 Page 21 of 36 June 15, 2007 79. On or about June 15, 2007, THOMPSON asked Robson, "can you try to keep your 6m high today?" 80. On or about June 15, 2007, after Robson told Yagami, "thomo wanted a high one," Y agami stated, "Thomo should have told me this. I wanted them to be lower." August 9, 2007 81. On or about August 9, 2007, THOMPSON asked CONTI, "What u roughly thinking abt lm and 3m LIBORs for the Rabo today pls mate." CONTI replied, "I'm 5.55 & 5.50 ... i'm higher in 1 's because we are long the fixing today & the next few days ... "THOMPSON stated that this was acceptable to him because he had also taken a long position. 82. On or about August 9, 2007, Rabobank submitted a ]-month USD LIBOR rate of 5.54 percent, which was 19 basis points higher than the previous day's submission. August 13, 2007 83. On or about August 13, 2007, Trader-RI, who was in New York, New York, asked CONTI for "high 3s and 6s pls today mate (esp 6mths!!)" and said, "gotta make money somehow!" CONTI replied, "cool." Trader-RI said that "every little helps!" 84. On or about August 13, 2007, Rabobank submitted a 6-month USD LIBOR rate of 5.41 percent, moving it from tied for third lowest to the second highest on the panel. August 13, 2007 and August 14. 2007 85. On or about August 13, 2007,Trader-Rl, who was in New York, New York, asked CONTI, "Where do u see 6m LIBOR tomorrow pls ?" CONTI asked, "where do you like to see it, is more the question ?" 21 Case 1:14-cr-00272-JSR Document 24 Filed 10/16/14 Page 22 of 36 September19, 2007 86. On or about September 19, 2007, CONTI toldSubmitter-R2, "today i have fixing so am low on the 3mth ... "and "i am happy to llose 3's but i did )*3's fra over today last night so want low fixing today . libors." 87. On or about September 19, 2007, Rabobank submitted a 3-month USD LIBOR rate of 5.20 percent, moving it from tied for seventh lowest to tied for lowest on the panel. September 21, 2007 88. On or about September 2 J, 2007, Yagarni asked Robson, "wehre do you think today's libors are? If you can, I would like lmth libors higher today." Robson responded, "Bookies reckon lm sets at 85." 89. On or about September 21, 2007, Yagami informed Robson, "I have some fixings in lmth so would appreciate if you can put it higher mate." 90. Robson answered, "No prob mate let me know your level." After Yagami asked for "0.90% for 1 mth," Robson confirmed, "Sure no prob ... I'll probably get a few phone calls but no worries mate... there's bigger crooks in the market than us guys!" 91. On or about September 21, 2007, Rabobank submitted a \-month Yen LIBOR rate of 0.90 percent, whlch was 7 basis points higher than the previous day, moving Rabobank's submission from the middle of the panel to the panel's highest. October 17. 2007 through October 19. 2007 92. On or about October 17, 2007, Trader-R3 wrote to CONTI "A nice low 1 month for the rest of the week please matey. Cheers." 93. On or about October 17, 2007, Rabobank submitted a !-month USD LIBOR rate of 4.98 percent, moving its submission from the fifth lowest to the lowest on the panel. 22 Case 1:14-cr-00272-JSR Document 24 Filed 10/16/14 Page 23 of 36 94. On or about October 18, 2007, Rabobank submitted a 1-month USD LIBOR rate of 4.98 percent, which moved its submission from the lowest to tied for second lowest 95. On or about October 19, 2007, Rabobank submitted a 1-month USD LIBOR rate of 4.92 percent, moving its submission back to the lowest on the panel. October 30, 2007 96. On or about October 30, 2007, Robson asked MOTOMURA, "Do you want me to set anything for you?" 97. On that same date, MOTOMURA replied, "if it is lower, it's better for me" and asked for "low 6's, please." 98. On or about October 30, 2007, Rabobank submitted a 6-month Yen LIBOR rate of 0.98 percent, three basis points lower than Rabobank's submission the day before, moving Rabobank's submission from the middle of the panel to the panel's second lowest. November 15. 2007 99. On or about November 15, 2007, after referencing 1-month USD LIBOR, CONTI stated to Submitter-R2 that "the ambass had big fixing so we help him today." January 24. 2008 100. On or about January 24, 2008, THOMPSON asked CONTI where 3-month USD LIB OR would fix because THOMPSON had a big reset that day. CONTI said, "seems to be 23 the shout mate .. i can go lower if you like?" THOMPSON replied, 'That will do mate, cheers." 101. On or about January 24, 2008, Rabobank submitted a 3-month USD LIBOR rate of 3.22 percent, which was ten basis points lower than their previous submission, and moved the submission from fourth lowest to tied for second lowest on the panel. 23 Case 1:14-cr-00272-JSR Document 24 Filed 10/16/14 Page 24 of 36 102. Because Bank-C had an interest swap agreement with Rabobank, the profitability of which was tied to LIBOR, Bank-C was directly affected by the Yen LIBOR rate on January 24, . 2008. February 27, 2008 103. On or about February 27, 2008, Yagami requested Robson submit, "Im 0.70% 3m 0.92% 6m 0.98% Please cheers." Robson responded, "Ok will do skip." 104. On or about February 27, 2008, Rabobank submitted 1-month, 3-month, and 6- month Yen LIBOR rates of 0. 70 percent, 0.92 percent, and 0.98 percent, respectively. March 12, 2008 and March 13, 2008 105. On or about March 12, 2008, Trader-RI, who was in New York, New York, stated to ALLEN, "High 3s and 6s pls tomorrow Tony." 106. On or about March 13, 2008, Rabobank submitted a 3-month USD LIBOR rate of 2.795 percent, 2.5 basis points lower than the previous day submission, while the other panel banks submitted an average five basis points lower, moving Rabobank's submission from the lowest of the panel to the fifth lowest. March 19, 2008 107. On or about March 19, 2008, MOTOMURA stated to Yagami that they had 1,650 contracts and asked Y agarni to make the rate as high as possible. 108. On or about March 19, 2008, Yagami wrote to Robson, "We have loads of6mth fixings today. If possible, could you set 6m libor to 1.10% please? We don't have particular interest in other libors." 24 Case 1:14-cr-00272-JSR Document 24 Filed 10/16/14 Page 25 of 36 I 09. Robson wrote back,_ "Sry just to confirm 6m you want at I. 1 O??? Ok will do that but I will prob get a phone call at I set 02 yesterday and brokers reckon everything a little lower today ... indications are ... Im 85 2m 91 3m 975 6m 1.03." 110. After learning that Robson expected tbe 6-month rate to be 1.03, Y agami responded, "actually,,, moto man [MOTOMURA] would like 6m to be higher today ..... Ifit is not appropriate, it is fine mate, I will explain the situation to him." To this, Robson assured, "Well its no prob mate - I can set it that high .... It will be quite funny to see the reaction!" 111. On that same day, Robson told Submitter-A that Yagami needed a "high 6m libor if you can help skip-asked me to set 1.10!" 112. Also on that same day, Y agami informed MO TO MURA that Robson would submit a 6-month Yen LIBOR rate of l. J percent and this would increase the resulting Yen LIBOR fix by 0.1 basis point MO TO MURA responded that this was splendid. 113. On or about March 19, 2008, Rabobank submitted a 6-month Yen LIBOR rate of 1.10 percent, eight basis points higher than Rabobank' s submission the day before, moving its submission from the middle of the panel to the panel's second highest. 114. Because Bank-B had an interest swap agreement with Rabobank, the profitability of which was tied to LIBOR, Bank-B was directly affected by the Yen LIBOR rate on March 19, 2008. Anril 17, 2008 115. On or about April 17, 2008, Yagami stated to Robson, "Mota [MOTOMURA] would like to have 6m libor lower mate." 25 Case 1:14-cr-00272-JSR Document 24 Filed 10/16/14 Page 26 of 36 116. On or about April 17, 2008, Rabobank submitted a 6-month Yen LIBOR rate of0.96 percent, which was three basis points lower than the day before, moving Rabobank's submission from the middle of the panel to tied for the panel's third lowest. April 23. 2008 117. On or about April 23, 2008, Yagami requested Robson submit "lm 0.68% 3m 0.93% 6m 0.97% pls cheers." Robson responded, "Ok will do." 118. On or about April 23, 2008, Rabobank submitted !-month, 3-month, and 6-month Yen LIBOR rates of0.68 percent, 0.93 percent, and 0.97 percent, respectively. July 18, 2008 119. On or about July 18, 2008, in an exchange between Robson and a broker located in the United Kingdom regarding setting the one-month Yen LIBOR rate, the broker asked Robson to submit a rate "as low as possible basically," and told Robson that it was for "UBS ... Tom [Hayes]." After offering to set 0.63 percent, Robson said "Make sure he [Hayes] knows ... you know scratch my back." 120. On or about July 18, 2008, Rabobank submitted a 1-month Yen LIBOR rate of0.63 percent, eight basis points lower than the previous day, moving Rabobank's submission from tied for the highest to tied for the second lowest. July 24, 2008 through July 30, 2008 121. On or about July 24, 2008, Yagami asked Robson, "Could you set 6m at 0.97% please? Moto [MOTOMURA] has big fixings over the next couple of weeks so that it would be nice if you could keep it as low as possible for some time." 122. On that same date, Robson affirmed, "Will do mate." 26 Case 1:14-cr-00272-JSR Document 24 Filed 10/16/14 Page 27 of 36 123. On or about July 24, 2008, Rabobank submitted a 6-month Yen LIBOR rate of0.97 percent, which was three basis points lower than Rabobank's submission the day before, moving Rabobank's submission from the middle of the panel to tied for the panel's second lowest. 124. On or about July 25, 2008, Rabobank submitted 0.97 percent which was the panel's second lowest 6-month Yen LIBOR rate. 125. Rabobank's submission for the 6-month Yen LIBOR rate remained at 0. 97 percentthe second lowest submission-- through July 30, 2008. August 4, 2008 through August 7, 2008 l 26. On August 4, 2008; in a Bloomberg chat, MOTOMURA asked Robson, "Please set today's 6mth LIBOR at 0.96 I have chunky fixing." On that same day, Robson responded, "no worries mate." 127. On or about August 4, 2008, Rabobank submitted a 6-rnonth Yen LIBOR rate of 0.96 percent, which was three basis points lower than the previous day, moving Rabobank's submission from tied for the panel's fourth lowest to the second lowest. 128. On or about August 6, 2008, MOTOMURA stated to Robson, "Good Morning. I have another side of fixing today and tomorrow. Can we make 6mth libor at 0.98?" 129. On that same date, Robson replied, "OK higher? ... sure thing." 130. On or about August 6 and August 7, 2008, Rabobank submitted a 6-month Yen LIBOR rate of 1.00 percent, which was four basis points higher than August 5, 2008, moving Rabobank' s submission from the panel's second lowest to the upper half. September 16. 2008 and September 17, 2008 131. On or about September 16, 2008, Rabobank submitted a I-month USD LIB OR rate of 2. 78, an increase of 26 basis points over the previous day's submission of 2.52. 27 Case 1:14-cr-00272-JSR Document 24 Filed 10/16/14 Page 28 of 36 132. On or about September 16, 2008, Trader-R3 forwarded to Submitter-Rl, who was in charge of submitting Rabobank' s USD LIB OR submissions that day, an email summary of banks' USD LIBOR submissions. Trader-R3 expressed his dissatisfaction with Submitter R2's submission by saying, "Before justifying from a cash perspective where the true rate should be etc, I, and you, know that if you were short of l month fixing you'd have put in a mid '60s LIBOR. P+L wise I couldn't give a fack but !just can't get my head around why you were being such an arse. I thought we were mates!" I 33. On or about September 16, 2008, Submitter-RI replied to Trader-R3, "I have no upside upseting you or setting the libor too high , I spoke to three diffewrent brokers and was told anywhere from 2.65 to 3.30 ]month ... " Submitter-Rl concluded, ''So I would rather we move on from this, and anything u need tom tell me again and ill try my best." 134. On or about September 17, 2008, while speaking to an unknown person on the phone, Trader-R3 said, "We help ourselves to the LIBORs that we're on the panel. [SubmitterR I J fucked me over the LIBORs yesterday and there was no need, he had nothing in it. Could have got away with something different, he knew exactly what I needed." October 7, 2008 135. On or about October 7, 2008, THOMPSON asked ALLEN ifLIBORs would remain the same for that day. ALLEN responded, "Where do you want 'em?" THOMPSON said, " ... Smidgen lower?" Following further discussion about where to set LIBORs, ALLEN concluded, "Maybe a smidge lower, smidge lower." 136. On or about October 7, 2008, Rabobank submitted a 3-month USD LIBOR rate of 3.95 percent, which was five basis points lower than the previous day's submission of 4.00 percent. 28 Case 1:14-cr-00272-JSR Document 24 Filed 10/16/14 Page 29 of 36 October 31, 2008 137. On or about October 31, 2008, Yagami asked in an email to ALLEN, CONTI, and Trader-R2, "If possible could you put 0.99% for 3m libor and 1.07% for 6m LIBOR pls?" 13 8. On or about October 3 I, 2008, as requested, Rabobank submitted a 3-month Yen LIBOR rate of0.99 percent 13 9. On or about October 31, 2008, as requested, Rabobank submitted a 6-montb Yen LIBOR rate of 1.07 percent. November 4, 2008 140. On or about November 4, 2008, Yagami asked in an email to ALLEN, CONTI, and Trader-R2, "Could you set 6m libor at 0.98% today if possible please?" Trader-R2 responded, "SURE." 141. On or about November 4, 2008, Rabobank submitted a 6-montb Yen LIBOR rate of 0.98 percent, five basis points lower tban the previous day. May 15, 2009 142. On or about May 15, 2009, Yagami asked Robson, who, at that time was working at a brokerage firm, ''How about 6m yen libor for today?" 143. Robson responded, "well strange one ... guys tbink tbe same 72 .. problem is UBS wants a high one today so he will call his friends to get it higher if he can. .. but 72 it shud be again." 144. Yagami wrote back, "i anyway want it to be hight so,, fine with me cheers." 145. Robson responded, "ok fair enough - will see what we can do for you mate !" (Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349.) 29 Case 1:14-cr-00272-JSR Document 24 Filed 10/16/14 Page 30 of 36 COUNT TWO (Wire Fraud) 146. The allegations as set forth in paragraphs 1through26 and 28 through 145 are hereby realleged as if set forth herein. 147. On or about June 15, 2007, in the Southern District ofNew York and elsewhere, ANTHONY ALLEN and PAUL THOMPSON, the defendants, together with Paul Robson and Takayuki Yagami, unlawfully, willfully, and knowingly, having devised and intending to devise a scheme and artifice to defraud, and for obtaining money and property by means of false and franduJent pretenses, representations, and promises, wouJd and did transmit and cause to be transmitted by means of wire communication in interstate and foreign commerce, writings, signs, signals, pictures, and sounds for the purpose of executing such scheme and artifice, all affecting a financial institution, to wit, in furtherance of the scheme to manipulate.and attempt to manipulate the benchmark interest rates to which profitability of certain trades was tied, an international wire transfer communication was transmitted by wire from a Rabobank counterpart)' in New York, New York via Tokyo, Japan to Rabobank in Utrecht, The Netherlands. (Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343 and Title 18, United States Code, Section 2.) COUNT THREE (Wire Fraud) 148. The allegations set forth in paragraphs I through 26 and 28 through 145 are realleged as if set forth herein. 149. On or about March 28, 200&, in the Southern District of New York and elsewhere, ANTHONY ALLEN, the defendant, together with Paul Robson and Takayuki Yagami, unlawfully, willfully, and knowingly, having devised and intending to devise a scheme and 30 Case 1:14-cr-00272-JSR Document 24 Filed 10/16/14 Page 31of36 artifice to defraud, having an effect on one or more financial institutions, and for obtaining money and property by means of false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises, would and did transmit and cause to be transmitted by means of wire communication in interstate and foreign commerce, writings, signs, signals, pictures, and sounds for the purpose of executing such scheme and artifice, to wit, in furtherance of the scheme to manipulate and attempt to manipulate the benchmark interest rates to which profitability of certain trades was tied, an international wire transfer communication was transmitted by wire from a Rabobank counterparty in New York, New York to Rabobank in Singapore. (Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343 and Title 18, United States Code, Section 2.) COUNT FOUR (Wire Fraud) 150. The allegations set forth in paragraphs 1 through 26 and 28 through 145 are realleged as if set forth herein. I 51. On or about April 28, 2008, in the Southern District of New York and elsewhere, ANTHONY ALLEN, PAUL THOMPSON, and ANIBONY CONTI, the defendants, together with others, unlawfully, willfully, and knowingly, having devised and intending to devise a scheme and artifice to defraud, and for obtaining money and property by means of false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises, would and did transmit and cause to be transmitted by means of wire communication in interstate and foreign commerce, writings, signs, signals, pictures, and sounds for the purpose of executing such scheme and artifice, all affecting a financial institution, to wit, in furtherance of the scheme to manipulate and attempt to manipulate the benchmark interest rates to which profitability of certain trades was tied, an international wire transfer communication was transmitted by wire from Rabobank in Utrecht, the Netherlands to a Rabobank counterparty in New York, New York. 31 Case 1:14-cr-00272-JSR Document 24 Filed 10116/14 Page 32 of 36 (Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343 and Title 18, United States Code, Section 2.) COUNT FIVE (Wire Fraud) 152. The allegations set forth in paragraphs 1through 26 and 28 through 145 are realleged as if set forth herein. 153. On or about May 26, 2008, in the Southern District ofNew York and elsewhere, ANTHONY ALLEN, the defendant, together with Paul Robson and Takayuki Y agami, unlawfully, willfully, and knowingly, having devised and intending to devise a scheme and artifice to defraud, having an effect on one or more financial institutions, and for obtaining money and property by means of false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises, would and did transmit and cause to be transmitted by means of wire communication in interstate and foreign commerce, writings, signs, signals, pictures, and sounds for the purpose of executing such scheme and artifice, to wit, in furtherance of the scheme to manipulate and attempt to manipulate the benchmark interest rates to which profitability of certain trades was tied, an international wire transfer communication was transmitted by wire from a Rabobank counterparty in New York, New York to Rabobank in Singapore. COUNT SIX (Wire Fraud) 154. The allegations set forth in paragraphs 1 through 26 and 28 through 145 are real!eged as if set forth herein. 155. On or about September 25, 2008, in the Southern District ofNew York and elsewhere, ANTHONY ALLEN and TETSUY A MOTOMURA, the defendants, together with Paul Robson and Takayuki Yagami, unlawfully, willfully, and knowingly, having devised and intending to devise a scheme and artifice to defraud, and for obtaining money and property by 32 Case 1:14-cr-00272-JSR Document 24 Filed 10/16/14 Page 33 of 36 means of false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises, would and did transmit and cause to be transmitted by means of wire communication in interstate and foreign commerce, writings, signs, signals, pictures, and sounds for the purpose of executing such scheme and artifice, all affecting a financial institution, to wit, in furtherance of the scheme to manipulate and attempt to manipulate the benchmark interest rates to which profitability of certain trades was tied, an international wire transfer communication was transmitted by wire from Rabobank in Utrecht, The Netherlands via Tokyo, Japan to a Rabobank counterparty in New York, New York. (Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343 and Title 18, United States Code, Section 2.) COUNTS SEVEN THROUGH NINETEEN (Wire Fraud) 156. The allegations as set forth in paragraphs I through 26 and 28 through 145 are hereby realleged as if set forth herein. 157. On or about the dates set forth in Column C below, in the Southern District of New York and elsewhere, the defendants set forth in Column B below, unlawfully, willfully, and knowingly, having devised and intending to devise a scheme and artifice to defraud, and for obtaining money and property by means of false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises, would and did transmit and cause to be transmitted by means of wire communication in interstate and foreign commerce, writings, signs, signals, pictures, and sounds for the purpose of executing such scheme and artifice, all affecting a financial institution, to wit, on or about the dates set forth below, among other dates, in furtherance of the scheme to manipulate and attempt to manipulate the benchmark interest rates to which profitability of certain trades were tied, .Thomson Reuters published a) the rates submitted by Rabobank and the other panel banks and b) 33 Case 1:14-cr-00272-JSR Document 24 Filed 10/16/14 Page 34 of 36 the averaged rates - or LIBORs- by wire from the United Kingdom to New York, New York,. among other places. A B C Count DEFENDANTS DATE SEVEN Allen Conti September 5, 2()05 EIGHT Allen Conti September 6, 2005 NINE Allen Thompson May 10, 2006 TEN Allen Conti October 31, 2006 ELEVEN Allen Thompson November 9, 2006 TWELVE Allen Thompson December 18, 2006 THIRTEEN Allen Conti April l 0, 2007 FOURTEEN Allen Thompson Conti August 9, 2007 FIFTEEN Allen Conti September 19, 2007 SIXTEEN Allen Conti October 17, 2007 SEVENTEEN Allen Motomura October 30, 200 7 EIGHTEEN Allen Robson Motomura July 24, 2008 NINETEEN Allen Thompson October 7, 2008 (Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343 and Title 18, United States Code, Section 2.) 34 Case 1:14-cr-00272-JSR Document 24 Filed 10/16/14 Page 35 of 36 FORFEITURE ALLEGATIONS (18 U.S.C. §§ 982(a)(2)(A) and 981 (a)(l)(C)) 158. The allegations contained in the General Allegations Section and in Counts 1 through 19 of this Indictment are realleged and incorporated by reference as though fully set forth herein for the purpose of alleging forfeiture to the United States of America of certain property in which one or more of ANTHONY ALLEN, ANTHONY CONTI, PAUL THOMPSON, or TETSUY A MOTOMURA has an interest. 159. Upon conviction of any of the violations alleged in Counts 1 through 19 of this Indictment, ANTHONY ALLEN, PAUL THOMPSON, TETSUY A MOTOMURA, ANTHONY CONTI, shall forfeit all of their right, title and interest to the United States of any property, constituting or derived from proceeds obtained directly or indirectly as a result of the violation, pursuant to Title 18, United States Code, Section 982(a)(2)(A). 160. Upon conviction of any oftbe violations alleged in Counts I through 19 of this Indictment, ANTHONY ALLEN, PAUL THOMPSON, TETSUY A MOTOMURA, ANTHONY CONTI, shall forfeit all of their right, title and interest to the United States of any property, constituting or derived from proceeds obtained directly or indirectly as a result of the violation, pursuant to Title 18, United States Code, Section 981(a)(l)(C). 161. The property subject to forfeiture, pursuant to Forfeiture Allegations paragraphs 159 and 160 above, includes but is not limited to the sum of all proceeds the defendants derived from the offenses alleged in this indictment. (All pursuant to Title 18, United States Code, Section 982(a)(2)(A); Title 18, United States Code, Section 981 (a)(l )(C) and the procedures set forth at Title 21, United States Code, Section 853, made applicable by Title 28, United States Code, Section 2461.) 35 Case 1:14-cr-00272-JSR Document 24 Filed 10/16/14 Page 36 of 36 162. If the property described above as being subject to forfeiture, as a result of any act or omission of the defendants, (I) cannot be located upon the exercise of due diligence, (2) has been transferred or sold to, or deposited with a third person, (3) has been placed beyond the jurisdiction of the Court, (4) has been substantially diminished in value, or (5) has been commingled with other property which cannot be subdivided without difficulty; it is the intent of the United States, pursuant to Title 21, United States Code, Section 853(p), made applicable through Title 18, United States Code, Section 982(b) and the provisions of Title 28, United States Code, Section 2461 (c), to seek forfeiture of any other property of the defendants up to the value of the above forfeitable property. Dated: WILLIAM J. STELLMACH Acting Chief, Fraud Section Criminal Division United States Department of Justice BRIAN YOUNG Trial Attorney CAROL L. SIPPERL Y Senior Litigation Counsel Criminal Division United States Department of Justice 36 A TRUE BILL FOR PERSON JEFFREY D. MARTINO Chief, New York Office Antitrust Division United States Department of Justice MICHAEL T. KOENING Trial Attorney Antitrust division United States Department of Justice

 

 

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Google Custom Search Engine ... Link 9/11 Truth, JFK assassination, Holocaust hoax & ISIS ...... home

No main stream media sites including Wikipedia are searched on this custom search page .... only websites dedicated to exposing the truth about 9/11, JFK assassination and the Holocaust hoax. This may include 'gatekeeper' sites such as 911Truth.org, Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth.org, Chomsky etc....by 'gatekeeper' we mean websites who never mention Israel, UK or Saudi Arabia as complicit in the 'inside job' attack. The roots of 9/11 go back to the Jewish Bolshevik revolution, Zionist/Nazi Germany (chronology below), the Holocaust hoax (treachery to spur emigration to Palestine) ... Google restricts results to 10 pages (100 items)

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