United States v. NatWest Markets Plc

PENDING CRIMINAL DIVISION CASES

United States v. NatWest Markets Plc
Court Docket Number: 3:21-cr-187-OAW (D. Connecticut)

Court Assigned: This case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Omar A. Williams of the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, Hartford Division, Abraham A. Ribicoff Federal Building, 450 Main Street, Suite A012, Hartford, CT 06103.


Overview: On December 21, 2021, NatWest Markets Plc (“NatWest”) pleaded guilty to criminal wire fraud and securities fraud charges and was sentenced to pay a criminal fine of $25,200,000, criminal forfeiture of $2,841,368, and $6,761,967 in restitution to compensate affected market participants for their losses. The convictions arise from fraud schemes involving episodes of unlawful trading activity in the markets for U.S. Treasury futures contracts and the secondary (cash) market for U.S. Treasury notes and bonds (the futures contracts, notes, and bonds, collectively, “U.S. Treasuries”) by NatWest traders.

According to a criminal information filed in connection with the plea agreement, between approximately January 2008 and May 2014, NatWest traders in London and Stamford, Connecticut, independently engaged in schemes to defraud in connection with the placement of U.S. Treasury futures contracts on the Chicago Board of Trade, an exchange operated by CME Group. Separately, for approximately three months in 2018, two traders employed at NatWest’s branch in Singapore engaged in a scheme to defraud in connection with the purchase and sale of U.S. Treasury notes and bonds in the cash market.

In furtherance of these schemes to defraud, the aforementioned traders knowingly, willfully, and with the intent to defraud placed orders to buy and sell certain U.S. Treasuries with the intent to cancel those orders before execution (“Spoof Orders”), including in an attempt to profit by deceiving other market participants through false and fraudulent pretenses and representations concerning the existence of genuine supply and demand for U.S. Treasuries. By placing Spoof Orders, the NatWest traders intended to inject materially false and misleading information about the genuine supply and demand into the U.S. Treasuries markets, and to deceive other participants in those markets into believing something untrue, namely that the visible order book accurately reflected market-based forces of supply and demand. This materially false and misleading information was intended to, and at times did, trick other market participants into reacting to the apparent change and imbalance in supply and demand by buying and selling U.S. Treasuries at quantities, prices, and times that they otherwise likely would not have traded.

Please complete the below Victim Impact Statement with the requisite information to submit a claim for restitution. Please note that restitution claims will not be accepted after February 21, 2022.

For more information about the Plea Agreement, please see below:

Plea Agreement

Criminal Information

Press Release


Victim Impact Statement:  If you would like to submit a Victim Impact Statement you may do so by mailing the Victim Impact Statement below to: Victim Witness Unit, U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Fraud Section, 10th & Constitution Avenue, NW, Bond Building, Room 4416, Washington, DC 20530. You also may submit the Victim Impact Statement via email at Victimassistance.fraud@usdoj.gov or by fax at: (202) 514-3708.  Please note: As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic response, statements submitted by regular mail and fax may be delayed. For that reason, victims are highly encouraged to submit victim impact statements by e-mail to: Victimassistance.fraud@usdoj.gov.

Victim Impact Statement (PDF)

The information on this website will be updated as new developments arise in the case. If you have any questions, please call the Victim Assistance Line toll-free at (888) 549-3945 or email us at victimassistance.fraud@usdoj.govPlease note: As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic response, the most reliable method of contacting victim-witness staff is via e-mail. If you need to speak to someone over the phone, let victim-witness staff know in your e-mail, and someone will call you as soon as practicable.


Presumption of Innocence: It is important to keep in mind that defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty and that presumption requires both the court and our office to take certain steps to ensure that justice is served.

Crime Victims’ Rights Act and Right to Retain Counsel: The Crime Victims’ Rights Act (18 U.S.C. § 3771) applies only to victims of the counts charged in federal court, and thus individuals may not be able to exercise all of these rights if the crime of which the individual is a victim was not charged. Section 3771(c)(2) of this Act requires that we advise you that you have the right to retain counsel. Although the statute specifically sets forth your right to seek advice of an attorney with regard to your rights under the statute, there is no requirement that you retain counsel. The Government may not recommend any specific counsel, nor can the Government (or the Court) pay for counsel to represent you. Government attorneys represent the United States.

If you elect to obtain counsel to represent your interests, please have your attorney notify this office in writing at: U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Fraud Section, 10th & Constitution Avenue, NW, Bond Building, 4th Floor, Washington, DC 20530, Attention: Victim Witness Unit; fax: (202) 514-3708; or email: victimassistance.fraud@usdoj.gov. If you elect not to retain counsel to represent your interests, you do not need to do anything.

Plea Agreements: Please be aware that many criminal cases are resolved by plea agreement between the Department of Justice and the defendant. You should also know that it is not unusual for a defendant to seek to negotiate a plea agreement shortly before trial is scheduled to begin. Plea agreements can be made at any time and as late as the morning of trial, leaving little or no opportunity to provide notice to you of the date and time of the plea hearing. If the court schedules a plea hearing in this case, we will use our best efforts to notify you of available information as soon as practicable. If you want to inform the prosecutor of your views regarding potential plea agreements, or any other aspect of the case, please call the Victim Assistance Line toll-free at (888) 549-3945 or email us at victimassistance.fraud@usdoj.gov.

Case Type: 
Other
Updated April 29, 2022