Article: Citigroup Can’t Duck Trader’s Malicious Prosecution Claims

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Citigroup Can’t Duck Trader’s Malicious Prosecution Claims

Hailey Konnath, 11 March 2021

Citigroup Inc. must face a $112 million malicious prosecution suit brought by a former London-based trader who’s been acquitted on foreign exchange-rigging charges, a New York federal court ruled Thursday, finding that the trader has adequately alleged the bank knowingly fed the Justice Department false information about him.

Rohan Ramchandani, the former head of Citigroup’s European forex spot-market trading desk, was among three traders acquitted by a Manhattan federal jury in 2018. Ramchandani has accused the bank of lying to the U.S. Department of Justice to save itself during an antitrust probe into allegations that traders from several major banks colluded to affect daily benchmark rates on the forex spot markets.

Citi had argued that Ramchandani’s suit should be tossed because it lacks allegations that the company “affirmatively induced the prosecution to the point of overtaking the prosecutor’s volition.” Meanwhile, Ramchandani contends that under New York law, he need only allege that the bank knew the information to be false yet still gave it to a prosecutor.

U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero said Thursday that Ramchandani has the better interpretation of the law. The judge denied Citi’s motion, holding that “[f]urnishing false information to law enforcement authorities is sufficient to satisfy the first element of a malicious-prosecution claim when, at the time the information was furnished, the person providing it knew it to be false.”

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