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Judge To Review Claims In Gold Market Suit

By FRANK BYRT
Dow Jones Newswires
November 6, 2001

BOSTON -- A federal judge said Monday he will take under
advisement claims brought in a civil suit that alleges U.S.
banking officials, the Bank for International Settlements,
and five large investment banks have conspired to keep
gold prices low for their own benefit.

Reginald Howe, a Belmont, Mass., attorney who brought
the suit, and is representing himself in the case, claims that
his investments in the Bank for International Settlements
and in Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold Inc. soured due to
price fixing and other "manipulative activities in the gold
market from 1994 to the present time orchestrated by
government officials acting outside the scope of their
legal or constitutional authority and certain large bullion
banks" that participate in the over-the-counter gold
derivatives markets and on the Commodities Exchange
(COMEX), in New York.

He filed the suit about two years ago.

Howe says he receives "financial and informational"
support in pursuing his claims from the Gold Anti-Trust
Action Committee Inc., a Texas-based "civil rights and
educational organization" that was formed "to expose
manipulation of the gold market by certain bullion
banks."

Howe said he serves as a consultant to that group and
also runs a Web site that provides information about
gold markets and investing.

U.S. District Court Judge Reginald Lindsay clarified several
issues and dismissed a minor claim in a three-hour
hearing Monday, where the defendants presented motions
to dismiss the lawsuit.

The judge is now expected to decide whether there is
enough evidence presented by Howe for the case to go
forward to the discovery phase, where Howe could force
the defendants to produce evidence and give testimony
prior to a trial. The judge didn't indicate when he would
make a ruling on the matter.

George Henderson, an attorney representing the Department
of the Treasury, said Howe was using the suit to present
his conspiratorial theories without any concrete facts
and that he has failed to present any of his constitutional
claims properly.

For example, he said the Treasury, which Howe named in
his suit, is not involved in a transactions involving gold or
gold derivatives and is not subject to the antitrust claims
Howe made under the Sherman Act. It can also claim the
sovereign immunity defense, and thus avoid Howe's damage
claims.

Among those named as defendants in Howe's suit are: the
Bank for International Settlements, an international banking
organization, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan,
William McDonough, president of the Federal Reserve Bank
of New York, and Lawrence Summers, former secretary of
the treasury.

Bullion banks are banks that make a market in gold and
gold derivatives. The ones named in Howe's suit are: Citigroup
Inc. (C), Goldman Sachs Group Inc.(GS), Deutsche Bank AG
(DB), and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM).