November 16, 2017

A lawsuit accusing 20 of the biggest Wall Street banks of rigging the $13 trillion market for securities sold by the U.S. Department of the Treasury was expanded late Wednesday night with the filing of an amended complaint that alleges two interrelated conspiracies.

The revised suit, filed in the Southern District of New York and brought by an array of large institutional investors, including union, state and municipal pension funds, includes allegations that bankers at competing banks “routinely” shared sensitive client information with each other in chat rooms, allowing them to profit at their clients’ expense.

In addition, the new complaint outlines an alleged scheme by a smaller group of seven banks, including JPMorgan, Citigroup, Barclays and Goldman Sachs, to thwart competition in the bidding process in the U.S. Treasury market by blocking their clients’ access to electronic trading platforms where better prices were available.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC and Labaton Sucharow LLP were selected in August to lead class actions that have been centralized in New York's Southern District before U.S. District Judge Paul G. Gardephe. To date, more than 48 putative class action complaints have been filed that allege banks conspired to manipulate auction prices in order to boost their own profits, according to the law firms.

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