Friday, October 26, 2018

REUTERS: London forex traders found not guilty in U.S. rigging case


SAT OCT 27, 2018 / 6:04 AM IST

London forex traders found not guilty in U.S. rigging case

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Three former London-based currency traders were found not guilty on Friday of U.S. charges that they schemed to rig benchmark exchange rates, the latest verdict to emerge from a U.S. probe into the multitrillion-dollar foreign exchange market.
L-R Michael Kendall defense attorney , Richard Usher,  Christopher Ashton, and Johnathan Pickworth  defense attorney
 (click on image to see larger) Artwork by Elizabeth Williams 

Chris Ashton, Rohan Ramchandani and Richard Usher, who worked at Barclays Plc, Citigroup Inc and JPMorgan Chase & Co, respectively, were acquitted of all charges by a jury in Manhattan federal court after a trial of conspiring to violate the Sherman Act, a federal antitrust law.

"Delighted with the verdict," Jonathan Pickworth, a lawyer for Usher (pictured) , told reporters outside the courtroom. "Richard can now go home to his lovely family."

More on Bloomberg: 

British Cartel Traders Acquitted of Rigging Currency Market

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-10-26/jury-rejects-charge-that-chatroom-was-used-to-fix-fx-prices

Monday, October 15, 2018

USA Today: Plan for a smaller Sears begins to emerge in bankruptcy court

USA Today : Plan for a smaller Sears begins to emerge in bankruptcy court

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2018/10/15/sears-bankruptcy-plan-court-whats-next/1652213002/
Artwork by Elizabeth Williams

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y.— Following its late-night Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, Sears attorneys were in court Monday urging a swift bankruptcy to preserve the company as a smaller entity.

“For us, time is absolutely of the essence,” said Ray Schrock of Weil, Gotshal and Manges representing Sears Holdings. “We have to do this for Sears and its employees.” ( click on image to see larger)

At the hearing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of New York, Schrock proposed an accelerated timeline to decide the fate of another batch of stores as well as a financing plan for the stores that remain.


Sears has proposed having its Chapter 11 reorganization plan filed by late December and confirmed in March 2019.

One critical date is Nov. 15, when it plans to make a decision about its so-called "bubble stores" that are being reviewed to see if the lease terms can be renegotiated and if ways can be found to make them profitable.  The sole bidder right now is Eddie Lampert’s ESL investments but Schrock said, “We are prepared and will be marketing those assets.”  Dec. 15 is another critical date in which Sears is aiming to have financing in place for its remaining stores.

Schrock said that the better part of a week was spent with key lenders Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citigroup to secure financing. And the group reached agreement on a plan that would include the provision that the first $200 million of proceeds from the sale of certain assets would be placed in a reserve account to make sure the company can pay severance and other costs.He also noted that, while the company has 12,000 vendors, “Trade credit has been substantially limited coming into Chapter 11.”That credit has been reduced 78 percent leading to Sears' shrinking inventory and increasing its borrowing to secure merchandise.
The judge, the Hon Robert Drain, granted interim approval of payments of $70 million and $90 million to critical vendors, adding that they are, "by definition, necessary.”


The hearing covered a wide range of payment obligations from shipping and warehouse fees to severance for workers whose stores will be closing to its product returns programs.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

NBC NEWS Fyre Festival organizer Billy McFarland sentenced to 6 years on fraud charges

Fyre Festival organizer Billy McFarland sentenced to 6 years on fraud charges

McFarland pleaded guilty in July to wire fraud charges related to his failed April 2017 music festival in the Bahamas.
by Doha Madani /  / Updated 
Artwork by Elizabeth Williams 

The organizer of a failed Caribbean music festival was sentenced Thursday to a combined prison term of six years in prison for fraud.
Assistant US Attorney Kristy Greenberg and defense attorney address Judge Buchwald during the sentencing of Billy McFarland ( click on an image to see larger)
Billy McFarland, 26 was taken into custody following the sentencing in federal court in Manhattan for his role in the Fyre Festival, a music concert that was supposed to place in the Bahamas in April 2017. People paid thousands of dollars for tickets and accommodations to what was supposed to be a luxury musical festival in the Caribbean, but upon arrival were met with FEMA tents and cheese sandwiches and no concert.
Celebrities such as Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid endorsed the event on their social media pages. Fyre Festival cost investors, including rapper Ja Rule, $26 million — roughly the same amount the judge ordered him on Thursday to forfeit.
Judge Naomi Buchwald who sentenced McFarland to 6 years. 
McFarland apologized during his sentencing and said that a "fear of letting everybody down" drove him to make mistakes.
"I made decisions that were a slap in the face to everything my family tried to teach me," McFarland said in court.
Billy McFarland seated in court with leg shackles
McFarland pleaded guilty in March to wire fraud charges relating to the festival and in July pleaded guilty to various fraud charges stemming from a separate ticket selling scam. McFarland was able to make $150,000 in phony ticket sales to fashion, music and sporting events, according to U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman of the Southern District of New York.