FT: Morgan would pay $1 billion fine for rigging metals and keep trading them


JPMorgan in Talks to Settle Spoofing Claims for $1 Billion

By Laura Noonan
Financial Times, London
Wednesday, September 23, 2020

JPMorgan Chase is in advanced talks with U.S. authorities to pay $1 billion to settle allegations it manipulated metals and Treasuries markets using a technique known as spoofing, according to people familiar with the situation.

The proposed settlement would allow the bank to avoid prosecution over the alleged activities, one of the people familiar with the situation told the Financial Times.

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Two former JPMorgan traders -- Christian Trunz and John Edmonds -- have already pleaded guilty to criminal charges of placing thousand of false orders to manipulate the prices of precious metals between 2007 and 2016.

JPMorgan's former head of metals trading, Michael Nowak, and two other former traders and one former salesperson are contesting federal racketeering charges over their alleged role in what prosecutors described as a "massive multiyear scheme" to manipulate metals markets.

A settlement would end investigations by the Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission into the bank's culpability for spoofing by its traders in gold, silver, other metals, and U.S. government bonds.

In its annual report published in April, JPMorgan said it was "engaged in discussions with various regulators" about allegations including "unjust enrichment and deceptive acts" relating to the bank's trading of precious metals and Treasuries.

Two people familiar with the situation said that the settlement would not result in any restrictions on JPMorgan's trading or operations. One of the people said the bank was negotiating a deferred prosecution agreement, which allows banks to continue with their activities as long as they fulfil certain conditions. ...

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