Lawsuit alleges Glencore warehouse firm falsified zinc documents
By Eric Onstad
LONDON (Reuters) - Executives at a metals warehouse firm owned by commodities group Glencore (GLEN.L: Quote) allegedly ordered workers to falsify documents in New Orleans to manipulate the zinc market, according to a complaint filed by zinc purchasers in a U.S. Federal Court.
On Monday, a U.S. judge in Manhattan allowed a private antitrust lawsuit to go forward against two units of Anglo-Swiss Glencore Plc. The suit accuses Glencore Ltd. and Pacorini Metals
USA of trying to monopolize the market for special high grade (SHG) zinc, driving up its price.
Her 62-page decision cited allegations made in the complaint filed by zinc purchasers alleging that Pacorini Metals USA, owned by Glencore, created false bills of lading, which are receipts given by transporters confirming shipment of goods.
U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest in Manhattan said that the zinc purchasers had alleged sufficient facts for the case to go forward.
She said they had raised "a plausible story of market control" by the Glencore units in violation of U.S. antitrust law. Forrest did not rule on the merits of the antitrust claim.
The case will now proceed to the discovery phase, during which both sides will gather evidence to bolster their claims.
A Glencore spokesman said: "The company does not generally comment on ongoing class action cases and the allegations made therein." Continued...