Citigroup sued for scheming foreign exchange rate, collecting millions

By Shaun Zinck | Jun 12, 2015

Citibank is being sued in federal court in Arkansas over allegations it deducted unreasonable and hidden charges from customers' accounts   United States District Court Western District of Arkansas

A major national bank is facing allegations that it deducted fees from customers' accounts without disclosing that it was doing to charge the customers.

Benjamin Michael Merryman, Amy Whitaker Merryman Trust, Benjamin Michael Merryman Trust and B Merrman and A Merryman Fourth Generation Remainder Trust filed the lawsuit June 2 in U.S. District Court in Arkansas against Citibank Group.

The lawsuit claimed the bank would take out fees from dividends and cash distributions that were issued by foreign companies without disclosing it to consumers. The lawsuit further stated the fees were “unreasonable” in nature.

The plaintiffs also claim Citi schemed to secretly assign an unfavorable exchange rate when foreign companies would convert cash distributions that were not U.S. dollars prior to issuing the payment to the account holder.

The lawsuit claims Citi “skimed millions of dollars from cash distributions owed and payable to” its account holders. The plaintiffs analyzed 610 cash distributions over 22 different currencies between 2000 and 2015.

The lawsuit seeks class status for those who had Citi accounts and dealt with foreign exchange rates between 2000 and 2015. The plaintiffs believe damages are more than $5 million plus court costs.

The plaintiffs are represented by Amy C. Martin of Everett, Wales and Comstock in Fayetteville, Ark.; Joseph H. Meltzer, Sharan Nirmul and Jonathan Neumann of Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP in Radnor, Pa.; and G. Chadd Mason of Mason Law Firm, PLC in Fayetteville.

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