'Hedge Fund Manager' Countersues Citi Over Forced Gold Sale

Apr 19 2012 | 11:02am ET

It seems there isn't much at all that Citigroup and Raghavendran Rajaraman agree upon.

Rajaraman has countersued the bank, which sued him in November. At issue is Rajaraman's trading account with the bank and its decision in September to liquidate it, seize his collateral and close the account.

According to Citi, it lost US$1.03 million when it sold off Rajaraman's gold investments in September. The bank claims it did so after gold fell by almost US$100 per ounce and "the margin level under the account deteriorated to the 'forced sell' level deemed by the bank."

Rajaraman sees it a little differently. In his lawsuit, he accused Citi of violating their agreement by failing to give Rajaraman time to "regularize" his account. And in doing so, Citi "entirely caused" the losses—both its own, and the unspecified losses that Rajaraman is seeking in the case.

In October, Rajaraman's lawyers put his losses at more than US$2.7 million.

In response to Rajaraman's countersuit, Citi said he applied to increase his credit line of his "own volition and on his own judgment," even if Citi only gave him US$20 million of the US$50 million he sought. What's more, the disclosure form Rajaraman signed is not the contract that he claims, the bank said.

The two sides can't even agree precisely on who Rajaraman is: Citi, in its lawsuit, called him a hedge fund manager linked to 3 Degrees Asset Management in Singapore; Rajaraman said he was not with 3 Degrees, but did not offer his current employment details in the court filing.

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