Labaton Sucharow LLP announced today the Firm was appointed by U.S. District Court Judge Paul G. Gardephe of the Southern District of New York to serve as co-lead counsel in a class action lawsuit accusing many of the nation’s biggest banks of colluding to rig the $13 trillion market for U.S. Treasury securities, causing injury to both the U.S. government and investors.
The case was brought on behalf of numerous large pension funds and other institutional investors, as well as individual investors. The plaintiffs allege that more than 20 banks and other entities—the major financial institutions that act as the primary dealers at Treasury auctions, conspired to engage in conduct that inflated prices of U.S. Treasuries to investors in order to boost the dealers’ own profits. The scheme was implemented by the exchange of confidential customer trading information through electronic chat rooms and instant messaging.
Treasuries are an essential part of the financial market. Treasuries are used for investing and hedging purposes and as benchmarks for pricing of other types of assets, including student loan debt, bonds, interest rate swaps, and exchange-traded Treasury futures and options. The yields for treasuries are used by many in the public and private sectors to predict the future course of the U.S. and global economy. And the proceeds from selling Treasuries at auction are used to fund the government itself.
Led by Co-Chairs of the Firm’s Antitrust and Competition Litigation Practice, Gregory S. Asciolla and Jay L. Himes, Labaton Sucharow was the first to file a case alleging treasury auction manipulation against the banks. Judge Gardephe has ordered that the Consolidated Amended Complaint be filed by September 22, 2017.