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US: FX exchange dealer pleads guilty to antitrust conspiracy

 |  January 9, 2017

A foreign currency exchange dealer pleaded guilty to participating in a price-fixing conspiracy in the FX market, the Justice Department announced today.

According to the one-count information filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, Jason Katz was a dealer of Central and Eastern European, Middle Eastern and African currencies on the New York FX desks of three successive financial institutions. From approximately January 2007 until July 2013, Katz and FX dealers at competing institutions conspired to suppress and eliminate competition by fixing prices in CEEMEA currencies, in violation of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1. As part of this conspiracy, Katz and his co-conspirators manipulated prices on an electronic FX trading platform through the creation of non-bona fide trades, coordinated the placement of bids and offers on that platform and agreed on currency prices they would quote specific customers, among other conduct. Under his plea agreement, Katz has agreed to cooperate with the department’s ongoing investigation into the FX market.

“These conspirators engaged in blatant collusion and succeeded in manipulating exchange rates for multiple currencies to their advantage,” said Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brent Snyder of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. “Conspiracies such as this undermine the integrity of our financial markets, and the Antitrust Division is committed to ensuring that they are pursued and punished.”

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