Ex-Cantor Trader’s ‘Wash Trades’ Lawsuit Heads to Full Trial

(Bloomberg) -- A former Cantor Fitzgerald LP bond trader, who says he was fired after blowing the whistle on what he describes as “wash trades,” must take his complaint to a full trial after a judge rejected his bid for an early verdict.

Ash Nadershahi, who worked as a high-yield trader at the firm’s European unit for a year, said Monday that a judge decided not to strike out his former employer’s arguments, which would’ve handed him an early win. Striking it out wouldn’t be “proportionate,” employment judge Jill Brown said in the ruling, dated Sept. 25.

However, the judge also said that to ensure a fair hearing Cantor must carry out a wider search for documents referring to Nadershahi and the circumstances of his departure. She postponed the trial until June 3 because of the disclosure issue.

“We’re pleased that the tribunal ruled Cantor Fitzgerald Europe breached a previous order in respect of giving our client documents and ruled that our client would not receive a fair hearing without these documents,” Nadershahi’s lawyer, Paul Daniels, said in a statement Tuesday. Nadershahi “believes he has acted properly throughout this matter and welcomes the opportunity for the full facts to come to light.”

Nadershahi tried at a hearing last month to get the early verdict on the grounds that the broker didn’t provide documents that could help his case. At the time, Cantor Fitzgerald denied all of his claims and said it should go to a full trial.

A Cantor Fitzgerald spokeswoman didn’t respond to a call and email seeking comment.

Nadershahi said he was fired after he discovered in August 2016 that the brokerage had let two hedge funds dictate prices for trades. He told the tribunal last month that he’d blown the whistle on so-called wash trades, which he described as transactions where there’s no change of ownership, and it’s “done to distort the market picture, to mis-value funds.”

The brokerage said he was dismissed for gross misconduct.

The case is Nadershahi v Cantor Fitzgerald Europe & Others, East London Employment Tribunal, Case No. 3200453/14

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