Amaranth Market-Manipulation Suit Wins Class-Action Status

Sep 29 2010 | 10:13am ET

Amaranth Advisors will have to face a class-action lawsuit filed by futures traders who were active in the natural gas markets while the collapsed hedge fund was allegedly attempting to manipulate that market.

U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin ruled that the case “is best suited to proceed as a class-action.”

“It involves more than 1,000 potential claimants who are asserting claims based on common issues.” The class covers those traders who bought, sold or held contracts on natural gas from Feb. 16 to Sept. 28 of 2006. Amaranth collapsed that year after losing more than $6 billion on its natural gas trades.

The traders have accused Amaranth of attempting to manipulate the natural gas markets. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission leveled similar charges; Amaranth settled those allegations last year.

Amaranth founder Nicholas Maounis is among those named in the class-action.

Amaranth said it would consider appealing Sheindlin’s ruling, but noted that it was “confident that if, and when, those merits are heard, the claims against Amaranth will be rejected.”

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