Antitrust & Intellectual Property

Municipal Derivatives

In re Municipal Derivatives Litigation, MDL No. 1950 (S.D.N.Y.).

Lieff Cabraser represented the City of Oakland, the County of Alameda, City of Fresno, Fresno County Financing Authority, along with East Bay Delta Housing and Finance Agency, in a class action lawsuit brought on behalf of themselves and other California entities that purchased guaranteed investment contracts, swaps, and other municipal derivatives products from Bank of America, N.A., JP Morgan Chase & Co., Piper Jaffray & Co., Societe Generale SA, UBS AG, and other banks, brokers and financial institutions.

The complaint charged that defendants conspired to give cities, counties, school districts, and other governmental agencies artificially low bids for guaranteed investment contracts, swaps, and other municipal derivatives products, which are used by public entities to earn interest on bond proceeds.

The complaint further charged that defendants met secretly to discuss prices, customers, and markets for municipal derivatives sold in the U.S. and elsewhere; intentionally created the false appearance of competition by engaging in sham auctions in which the results were pre-determined or agreed not to bid on contracts; and covertly shared their unjust profits with losing bidders to maintain the conspiracy.