NEW YORK — Blasting the legendary Hunt brothers as "power-hungry" and "unscrupulous," an attorney for Peru's leading mineral company accused them Wednesday of conspiring with Saudi Arabian tycoons to fix silver prices in 1979 and 1980.
"They cheated, they drove up prices of silver, and they did it intentionally," said Mark Cymrot, a lawyer for Peru's Minpeco SA.
He was making opening remarks in a class-action lawsuit by Minpeco against the Hunts, the Texas brothers whose fortunes have since soured. The case is being heard before a federal jury in Manhattan.
The suit alleges that the Hunts broke federal antitrust laws by scheming to fix silver prices and to monopolize the silver market. Minpeco, which hopes to recover about $150 million lost in the Hunts' alleged bid to corner the silver market, is believed to be the biggest casualty of the scheme.