A federal jury in Illinois’ Northern District today convicted two former JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPMorgan) precious metals traders of fraud, attempted price manipulation and spoofing in a multi-year market manipulation program in precious metals futures contracts that spanned eight years and included thousands of unlawful trade sequences.
According to court documents and evidence presented at the trial, Gregg Smith, 57, of Scarsdale, New York, was a senior director and trader in JPMorgan’s precious metals division in New York. Michael Nowak, 47, of Montclair, New Jersey, was a managing director and led JPMorgan’s global precious metals practice.
Evidence at the trial showed that between approximately May 2008 and August 2016, the defendants were involved with other traders in JPMorgan’s precious metals division in a widespread spoofing, market manipulation and fraud scheme. The defendants placed orders that they intended to cancel prior to execution in order to inflate the prices of orders they intended to execute on the opposite side of the market. The defendants engaged in thousands of deceptive trading sequences for gold, silver, platinum and palladium futures contracts traded through the New York Mercantile Exchange Inc. (NYMEX) and Commodity Exchange Inc. (COMEX) operated by are commodity exchanges operated by CME Group Inc. These misleading orders were intended to provide false and misleading information to the markets as to the actual supply and demand for precious metals futures contracts.
“Today’s jury verdict shows that those who attempt to manipulate our public financial markets will be held accountable and brought to justice,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “With this ruling, the Department secured the conviction of 10 former traders from Wall Street financial institutions, including JPMorgan, Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank, The Bank of Nova…