Former trader seeks over $150M from Deutsche Bank for “the destruction of his life”
Former Deutsche Bank trader Matthew Connolly seeks heavy compensation from his ex-employer over what he calls “the destruction of his life”.
Let’s recall that, in April 2022, Judge Colleen McMahon signed judgments of acquittal as to Mr Connolly and Gavin Campbell Black in a lawsuit accusing them of LIBOR rigging. This happened after the Second Circuit Court of Appeals had reversed the judgment of conviction in the matter, and remanded the case to the district court for entry of a judgment of acquittal.
Now, Connolly wants Deutsche Bank to pay for the damage caused.
On November 17, 2022, Connolly filed a complaint against Deutsche Bank AG in the New York Southern District Court.
Mr Connolly worked his way up to head the Derivatives Trading desk at Deutsche Bank in New York. He left the bank in 2008 with an unblemished record. Connolly argues that when the government began investigating LIBOR pricing several years later, the senior executives of Deutsche Bank, who had been overwhelmingly more involved in LIBOR pricing than Mr. Connolly, identified their perfect fall guy and hand-delivered him to the government “wrapped up in a bow”.
Mathew Connolly now brings an action for malicious prosecution based on Deutsche Bank’s intentional conduct and material misstatements to the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the perjured testimony by a Deutsche Bank employee to a jury in the District Court, in order to have Connolly prosecuted and convicted to protect senior executives at the bank.
The trader says that Deutsche Bank knew its statements and material omissions regarding him were false and misleading when made, and the DOJ relied on those false statements and omissions in its investigation, in obtaining a federal criminal indictment of Connolly without probable cause and continuing its prosecution of Connolly through trial and an appeal.
According to Connolly’s complaint, Deutsche Bank knew that its C-Suite and senior executives had directed Deutsche Bank’s efforts to affect the LIBOR rate. In order to protect itself and its elite upper-echelon, Deutsche Bank and its lawyers convinced the DOJ to instead pursue, indict, scapegoat and prosecute Connolly who: (a) had not been employed by Deutsche Bank since 2008, eight years before his indictment; (b) was much lower in the organizational structure; (c) had virtually nothing to do with LIBOR; and (d) was not a member of the privileged club of Deutsche Bank executives worthy of protection.
Connolly argues that, instead of senior management owning their conduct and knowledge, and instead of Paul Weiss doing an honest investigation and drawing the clear conclusions about senior management’s role, Deutsche Bank and Paul Weiss blamed and framed Connolly for a crime he did not commit.
The complaint further alleges that Deutsche Bank took the further step of sending a bank employee to testify at Connolly’s trial, and this bank employee knowingly perjured himself in front of the District Court at Deutsche Bank’s instruction.
Connolly says he had his life ruined. In 2016, eight years after leaving Deutsche Bank, he was indicted in the Southern District of New York based on information provided by Deutsche Bank and Paul Weiss. He fought through a trial where he was convicted of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud. He fought through an appeal and was ultimately exonerated in 2022, when the Second Circuit overturned his conviction, finding that the manner in which banks reported LIBOR rates, the alleged misconduct, was not illegal.
Connolly notes that he has been unable to work in his profession since 2016. He has endured a criminal trial, the loss of free movement, the surrender of his passport, and the destruction of his personal and professional reputation. It has affected his health, his children and his wife.
Connolly seeks redress for Deutsche Bank’s actions. He explains that he seeks a sum large enough, in excess of $150 million, “to compensate him for his economic losses and the torment he and his family have suffered, including damage to his reputation and to punish Deutsche Bank for its role in directing the destruction of his life”.