Justice Department charges three traders in market manipulation scheme
Justice Department charges three traders in market manipulation scheme
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19 September, 2019, 14:28
One of the finest gold merchants within the arena, the financial institution acknowledged in an August regulatory filing it became "responding to and cooperating with" investigations by varied authorities, including the Division of Justice, referring to trading practices within the metals markets.
Deutsche Bank, HSBC, and UBS reached agreements with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission past year to settle claims that their traders used spoofing to manipulate precious metals futures prices - paying $30 million, $1.6 million, and $15 million, respectively - in order to avoid admitting wrongdoing and the possibility of a prolonged court battle.
Reuters reported on September 12 that Nowak and Smith had been placed on leave from J.P Morgan in connection with the ongoing investigation.
The defendants allegedly placed orders they meant to cancel just before execution.
"We created market activity which artificially drove the sale price up and induced other market participants to purchase at an inflated price", he said.
The defendants "and their co-conspirators allegedly engaged in a complex scheme to trade precious metals in a way that negatively affected the natural balance of supply-and-demand", Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Assistant Director William Sweeney said in the statement.
The Justice Department said the indictments are the latest in a series of cases involving commodities fraud that have resulted in eight guilty pleas and one 36-month prison sentence, with half a dozen others pending.
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Deutsche Bank, HSBC Holdings Plc and UBS past year agreed to pay a total of about $50mn to settle civil claims by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission that the firms' traders engaged in spoofing techniques to manipulate prices of precious-metals futures. Smith and Jordan did not respond to requests for comment. The DOJ claimed the bankers made millions of dollars by defrauding other market participants, including some of their own clients, in thousands of illegal trade sequences.
The Justice Department has brought criminal charges against 16 people, including traders who worked for Deutsche Bank AG and UBS Group AG.
After Edmonds pleaded guilty, JPMorgan was hit with a proposed class action lawsuit by investors that also names Nowak and another onetime managing director, Robert Gottlieb.
A call to Smith's number at the bank was answered by an employee at the metals desk who directed questions to the bank's public relations department.
The indictment, which was unsealed in federal court in IL, alleges the traders were involved in a racketeering conspiracy that prosecutors say spanned eight years and involved thousands of transactions.
A spokesman for JPMorgan, which is one of the largest banks for trading commodities like precious metals, declined to comment.
All three each face two counts of conspiracy, one count of bank fraud and one count of wire fraud.
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