In re Treasury Securities Auction Antitrust Litigation

Updated: May 25, 2018

Status: Ongoing Case

Labaton Sucharow was appointed co-lead counsel in this massive price-fixing conspiracy involving U.S. Treasury securities.

On July 23, 2015, Labaton Sucharow filed the first nationwide class action on behalf of Boston Retirement System, alleging a conspiracy by prominent financial institutions, including Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Merrill Lynch, and JPMorgan, among others, to manipulate auctions for U.S. treasury bills, notes, and bonds (treasury securities). On July 24, 2015, Labaton Sucharow filed a similar complaint on behalf of Arkansas Teacher Retirement System.  On August 23, 2017, Labaton Sucharow was appointed co-lead counsel.

U.S. Treasury securities—debt instruments issued by the U.S. Treasury Department—are not only used to help finance U.S. government operations, but are also used by state and local municipalities, corporations, investment funds, hedge funds, pension funds, and individuals for investing and hedging purposes. 

Plaintiff amended complaint alleges that the defendants colluded ahead of and during the U.S. Treasury auctions to artificially inflate or deflate the auction clearing price. . Plaintiffs also allege that a subset of defendants conspired to boycott the development of exchange-like electronic trading platforms that were open to retail investors, like the plaintiffs. These platforms would have permitted retail investors the ability to buy and sell U.S. Treasuries more cheaply than in the over-the-counter market. Investors were harmed in both conspiracies by either paying too much when they bought U.S. Treasuries or receiving too little when they sold U.S. Treasuries.

According to the complaints, the defendants manipulated the U.S. Treasury securities market by using chat rooms, instant messaging, and other methods to exchange confidential customer information and coordinate trading strategies. Labaton Sucharow serves as co-lead counsel.

Defendants’ motions to dismiss are fully briefed.

The case is In re Treasury Securities Auction Antitrust Litigation, No. 15-md-02673 (S.D.N.Y). The plaintiffs are Boston Retirement System and Arkansas Teacher Retirement System.