Shortly after Citi made it clear it was seeking the assistance of the Department of Justice (DOJ), as the bank attempts to dismiss claims by former FX trader Rohan Ramchandani, the DOJ has informed the Court about its position on the matter.

Let’s recall that, in September 2021, Citi filed a Letter in the Court, seeking an order under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 6(e) permitting the DOJ to provide certain discovery concerning the grand jury proceedings that resulted in the indictment of Rohan Ramchandani.

Ramchandani brought this action against Citibank, his former employer. The Complaint alleges one count of malicious prosecution stemming, among other things, from Citi’s disclosure of information about Ramchandani to, and other communications with, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) in connection with an investigation into a purported criminal antitrust conspiracy arising out of Ramchandani’s role as trader in FX spot markets, and specifically the EUR/USD FX Spot market, on behalf of Citi.

As detailed in the Complaint, Ramchandani alleges, among other things, that:

  • Citi made materially misleading statements regarding Ramchandani, and provided materially misleading accounts of Ramchandani’s conduct, to the DOJ, which played an actionable role in the commencement of the DOJ’s putative criminal case against Ramchandani;
  • Citi knew that the statements and accounts it provided were materially misleading and that Ramchandani had not engaged in criminal antitrust violations; and
  • Citi acted with malice, within the meaning of governing law. Including by falsely identifying Ramchandani (whom Citi knew was not culpable for a criminal antitrust violation) as the single purported wrongdoer within Citi, thereby, among other things, diverting attention from other actually culpable conduct within Citi.

Citi says that an essential element of Ramchandani’s claim for malicious prosecution is that Citi’s alleged false statements tainted the grand jury’s determination of probable cause to indict him for violation of the criminal antitrust laws.

Given the centrality of the grand jury proceedings, Citi now requests narrowly tailored discovery from the DOJ. Citi’s requests seek, among other things, either transcripts of applicable testimony or confirmation by a DOJ witness that no testimony exists that fits the following categories:

  • Grand jury testimony by Matthew Gardiner;
  • Grand jury testimony (or the lack thereof) by a Citi representative or employee;
  • Grand jury testimony (or the lack thereof) concerning Citi’s guilty plea in United States v. Citicorp, 15 Cr. 78;
  • and Grand jury testimony (or the lack thereof) about Citi’s statements to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) concerning Ramchandani.

As per documents filed with the New York Southern District Court on October 5, 2021, the DOJ makes clear that it is open to assisting Citi.

The DOJ states:

“DOJ has no objection to accepting Citi’s application as a petition under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 6(e)(3)(E)(i) for disclosure of a grand jury matter ‘preliminarily to or in connection with a judicial proceeding.’ DOJ has informed Matthew Gardiner of Citi’s petition for disclosure of his grand jury testimony.

Should the Court determine that Citi has shown that the requisite “particularized need” under Douglas Oil Co. v. Petrol Stops Nw., 441 U.S. 211 (1979), outweighs continued grand jury secrecy, the Government has no objection to the Court ordering disclosure of the requested grand jury information, provided that the information can be designated Attorneys’ Eyes Only by order of the Court, and the parties are restricted from placing such information on the public record in pretrial proceedings.

DOJ respectfully proposes to deliver the grand jury testimony directly to Your Honor ex parte for the Court to evaluate in connection with Citi’s motion, and requests that the Court So Order this letter for that purpose.”