A lawyer for a British private equity firm has told a jury at the start of a civil trial that the firm was tricked by New York bank Citigroup into paying billions of dollars for the struggling music company EMI in 2007.

Attorney David Boies said Citigroup falsely claimed to Terra Firma Capital Partners that there were other bidders for the record company when there were none. Boies made his opening statement on Monday.

Citigroup lawyer Theodore Wells countered that Terra Firma has its facts wrong. He says Citigroup never lied. He says Terra Firma just wants to blame the bank because its investment in EMI turned out to be a bad one.

Terra Firma wants Citigroup to pay damages related to the $4.9 billion takeover.