Ex-Barclays trader pleads guilty in U.S. in forex probe

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By Nate Raymond | NEW YORK

NEW YORK A former Barclays Plc trader
pleaded guilty on Wednesday to U.S. charges arising from a
global investigation into the manipulation of foreign-exchange
prices at major banks, the U.S. Department of Justice said.

Jason Katz, a former Barclays trader who later worked at BNP
Paribas SA, pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court
to participating in a price-fixing conspiracy, becoming the
first person to admit criminal wrongdoing in the probe.

Katz’s plea came after Barclays and three other banks last
year pleaded guilty to conspiring to manipulate currency prices.
Barclays agreed to pay $2.4 billion to resolve various related
U.S. and UK probes.

Prosecutors said that from January 2007 until July 2013,
Katz, while working at three different financial firms,
conspired with others to suppress competition by fixing prices
in Central and Eastern European, Middle Eastern and African

“These conspirators engaged in blatant collusion and
succeeded in manipulating exchange rates for multiple currencies
to their advantage,” Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brent
Snyder said in a statement.

A lawyer for Katz did not immediately respond to a request
for comment.

In addition to pleading guilty, Katz also entered a consent
agreement announced by the Federal Reserve Board that would ban
him from the banking industry and require him to cooperate with
its own investigation.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Katz joined Barclays
Capital in August 2010 from Standard Bank, before moving to BNP
Paribas in September 2011 as its director of emerging markets
foreign exchange trading.

He left two years later to join Australia & New Zealand
Banking Group Ltd in September 2013, his LinkedIn
profile said.

Barclays and the three other banks are scheduled to be
sentenced on Thursday by a federal judge in Connecticut.
Barclays declined comment on Wednesday.

The case is U.S. v. Katz, U.S. District Court, Southern
District of New York, No. 17-cr-003.

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