Sunday 22 April 2018

Subpoena 'unenforceable' for rogue trader Rusnak

AIB is suing Citibank for $872m (€805m)
AIB is suing Citibank for $872m (€805m)
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Rogue trader John Rusnak will not have to give evidence at the looming New York trial in which AIB is suing Citibank for $872m (€805m), a judge has ruled.

It has also emerged that Mr Rusnak, who lives in Baltimore, Maryland, was served by Citibank with his subpoena to testify while visiting New York's luxurious Waldorf Astoria hotel to celebrate his wedding anniversary.

However, the rogue trader had insisted he would exercise his rights under the US Fifth Amendment, allowing him to avoid giving testimony where he could incriminate himself. Mr Rusnak served almost seven years in prison for the 2002 fraud at then AIB subsidiary Allfirst.

Mr Rusnak has also told a New York court that he would be unable to afford legal counsel in any event. He now runs a dry cleaning business in Baltimore.

AIB initiated court action against Citibank in 2003 in relation to the Allfirst fraud, where Mr Rusnak had concealed almost $700m in losses accumulated as a result of failed bets on the Japanese yen as a currency trader. AIB alleges that Citibank had effectively aided Mr Rusnak's sham currency transactions by helping him to conceal them. It's a charge that Citibank has strenuously denied.

A US subpoena can only command a person to attend a trial if they live within 100 miles of where the person resides, is employed, or regularly transacts business in person.

Lawyers for AIB told the judge who will hear the case that Mr Rusnak lives more than 100 miles away and does not regularly do business in New York. Justice Deborah Batts ruled last week that the subpoena was unenforceable.

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