RBC accused of stalling during U.S. tax evasion court case

RBC. (Reuters file photo)

RBC. (Reuters file photo)

Jean-Francois Cloutier, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:48 PM ET

MONTREAL — The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) accused Canada's biggest bank of delaying key testimony relating to a stock manipulation lawsuit, according to court documents obtained by QMI Agency.

New York federal court documents state that Royal Bank of Canada is working diligently to prevent one of the bank's lawyers from testifying.

The CFTC alleges the testimony of RBC's New York-based capital markets lawyer, Richard Chase, is "central" to a stock manipulation and tax evasion lawsuit launched by the commission in Dec. 2012.

RBC is accused of using its offshore, tax haven subsidiaries to manipulate stock prices to reduce its Canadian tax burden. Illegally manipulating securities is known as "wash trading."

"The testimony of Mr. Chase is central to this case because he wrote two letters on behalf of RBC that contain false and misleading affirmations related to the lawsuit," court documents state.

The lawsuit alleges that between June 2007 and May 2010, RBC orchestrated a "wash trading" scheme using two of its subsidiaries and illegally manipulated the price of millions of dollars worth of future options.

Court documents show the commission has been trying for four months to obtain Chase's deposition.

The CFTC said RBC cancelled three scheduled deposition meetings.

RBC's New York spokesman, Kevin Foster, told QMI the CFTC retracted its complaint on Thursday, and a date had been set for Chase to give his statement.


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