Judge grants Bogucki’s case dismissal hearing

Robert Bogucki's lawyers will argue the US abused a transnational document request to extend the statute of limitations

In focus: evidentiary hearing on May 3 will determine whether the case against Robert Bogucki can proceed

A California federal judge has allowed for an evidentiary hearing into whether US attorneys abused a transnational document request to extend the statute of limitations on the alleged criminal activities for which they have indicted Robert Bogucki, a former currency trader at Barclays, FX Week has learned.

The court heard arguments on the defence’s motion to dismiss on March 9, and found Bogucki’s team has initially presented a sufficient case to justify discovery and an evidentiary hearing into the matter. A hearing is set for May 3.

This marks a significant victory for the defence, as they have argued prosecutors misused a mutual legal assistance treaty to give themselves additional time to bring a case against Bogucki.

MLAT is a powerful tool that prosecutors use to request evidence from another country to help in their investigations and lawsuits. Once such a request has been made, the limitation period can be extended by as much as three years or until the foreign government takes its final action on the request.

FX Week understands that at the upcoming hearing, evidence will be presented on whether the government’s MLAT request was pretextual and if the tolling order on the statute of limitations is valid. A hearing of this kind could offer insight into what additional information the MLAT provided to the US and whether the government was in a position to charge Bogucki before the statute of limitations ran out.

Both the US Department of Justice and the defence declined to comment on the matter.

Bogucki is a former head of foreign exchange trading at Barclays in New York. He was indicted and arraigned in January on allegations of wire fraud and conspiracy. He is the third senior currency trader to be indicted by the DoJ on such charges – and the second head of FX to be charged – as the agency continues its investigation into currency market misconduct.

Front-run and defraud

Prosecutors said Bogucki and others used confidential information to front-run and defraud Hewlett-Packard on £6 billion worth of options between September and October 2011. They also claimed the senior trader and his co-conspirators took steps to hide the scheme from HP, and those who oversaw them at the bank. Bogucki has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

In February, defence attorneys at Debevoise & Plimpton and Clarence Dyer & Cohen told the court the MLAT is a “well-disguised sham” by the government, which had five years to charge their client. They argued that since the indictment stated the last alleged offence against Bogucki was on October 4, 2011, the government had until October 4, 2016 to bring the case.

The DoJ fined Barclays $650 million in May 2015 to settle allegations of FX misconduct. The government believes the bank took part in a conspiracy to manipulate currency prices between 2007 and 2013.

Pausing the clock

The defence believes the US used the MLAT as a pretext to secure a tolling order from the court to essentially pause the clock on the statute of limitations on Bogucki’s alleged crimes. They claimed the international document request was “frivolous” because the US was in possession of a signed agreement with Barclays on May 19, 2015, in which the bank and its entities agreed to co-operate with prosecutors in ways that include, but are not limited to, providing the US with all documents, factual information and other materials, wherever they are located, which are in their possession, custody or control when requested.

Prosecutors have told the court they needed to seek certain records to “reconstruct a timeline” of when a certain trader was able to trade and communicate with others.

The defence has dismissed the explanation as “nonsense”, saying a timeline was already well established and prosecutors had already secured Barclays’ co-operation to provide materials as requested to assist with future investigations or proceedings. 

  • LinkedIn  
  • Save this article
  • Print this page  

You need to sign in to use this feature. If you don’t have a FX Week account, please register for a trial.

Sign in
You are currently on corporate access.

To use this feature you will need an individual account. If you have one already please sign in.

Sign in.

Alternatively you can request an indvidual account here: