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Christopher J. Gray Firm's Court Decision Featured in Reuters News Article

September 13, 2011’s Christopher J. Gray’s case alleging antitrust violations by hedge fund Law Moore Capital Management LP was featured in an article published by Reuters.

Moore Capital, a hedge fund firm that paid a $25 million regulatory fine to settle market manipulation claims, won on Tuesday the dismissal of a lawsuit by investors who said they lost money because of illegal activity.

Two co-defendants, former veteran Moore trader Christopher Pia and the brokerage MF Global Ltd (MF.N), also won the dismissal of claims that they conspired with Moore to fix prices on platinum and palladium futures contracts from Oct. 25, 2007 to June 6, 2008, violating antitrust and racketeering laws.

However, despite the dismissal, plaintiffs will have an opportunity to draft a new Amended Complaint in the effort to address what the district court viewed as legal defects in the plaintiffs’ previous complaint. U.S. District Judge William Pauley in Manhattan said the eight plaintiffs may replead their case, without relying on Moore’s April 2010 settlement with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to show that firm’s wrongdoing.

The putative class actions allege that Moore Capital manipulated prices of platinum and palladium in the last 10 seconds of trading days by entering large trades in “illiquid” platinum and palladium markets that pushed prices higher, a strategy known as “banging the close.”

Judge Pauley said the investors, who sought class-action status, could not rely on the CFTC accord with Moore to show liability because it was a product of settlement negotiations rather than a determination of factual issues.

Nevertheless, he said the investors could raise some of their claims in a revised complaint, including that Moore and MF Global could potentially be held responsible for Pia’s trades.

The case is In re: Platinum and Palladium Commodities Litigation, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 10-03617. The Reuters article is accessible here.