U.S. Launches Criminal Probe Into JPMorgan For Gold Price Manipulation
U.S authorities are building a criminal case against JPMorgan Chase & Co after accusing six of the bank’s employees of rigging precious-metals futures.
Formal accusations have, however, not been made against JPMorgan, according to Bloomberg.
Jessica Fransisco, the bank’s spokeswoman, pointed to company filings from 2019, disclosing that the investigations were for “trading practices in the metals markets and related conduct.”
Bank traders who worked in New York, London and Singapore have already been charged by U.S. authorities with manipulating thousands of orders for gold and silver futures to benefit the bank and its important hedge fund clients.
Prosecutors said that the gold price manipulation campaign of placing orders and then canceling them to mislead other market participants lasted a decade.
The department of justice accused JPMorgan metal traders under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, a criminal racketeering law mostly applied to mafia cases as opposed to global bank probes.
That legislation allows prosecutors to charge multiple criminal acts involving a group of people in the same case as long as they belonged to the same company.
Two former traders at JPMorgan have already pleaded guilty to fraud charges and are cooperating with the authorities.
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According to the justice department, the racketeering conspiracy on the JPMorgan metals desk ran between March 2008 and August 2016.
Michael Nowak, who remained active as the global head of JPMorgan’s precious metals desk until he was indicted under seal in August, is among those fighting charges.