Gregg Smith and his colleague Michael Nowak, both former JP Morgan executives at the time of the events, were convicted of fraud for manipulating prices in the precious metals market and spoofing in an 8-year scheme.
The two former JP Morgan executives who manipulated the commodities market
Accused of manipulating commodity prices
As it turns out, the former Executive Director and trader at JP Morgan’s precious metals desk in New York and the Managing Director of the investment bank’s Global Precious Metals Desk, Michael Nowak, defrauded investors and others for years. They were guilty of crimes such as altering market prices and spoofing in a scheme that lasted eight to 10 years.
The two former executives placed orders that would be abruptly cancelled before execution in order to inflate the prices of orders they wanted to give execution to on the opposite side of the market, particularly on the New York Mercantile Exchange Inc. (NYMEX) and Commodity Exchange Inc. (COMEX), the Commodity Exchanges run by CME Group Inc.
Polite Jr. A., Deputy Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, said:
“Today’s jury verdict demonstrates that those seeking to manipulate our public financial markets will be held accountable and brought to justice. With this verdict, the Department secured the convictions of ten former Wall Street financial institution traders, including JPMorgan. , Bank of America / Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank, The Bank of Nova Scotia and Morgan Stanley. These beliefs underscore the Department’s commitment to pursuing those who undermine public investor confidence in the integrity of our commodity markets”.
Deputy Director, Luis Quesada, of the FBI’s Criminal Investigation Division, then continued:
“For years the defendants would have placed thousands of false orders for precious metals, creating a ploy that led others to make disadvantageous trades. Today’s belief demonstrates that no matter how complex or lengthy a plan is, the FBI is committed to bringing those involved in crimes like this to justice”.
Past events are also resurfacing
In the recent past, a similar episode had already happened, again related to JP Morgan.
John Edmonds and Christian Trunz, were convicted in similar cases in October 2018. Edmonds pleaded guilty in the Connecticut district and Tunz followed shortly after.
Years later the truth finally came out, and to regain the trust of savers, JP Morgan itself was almost forced to take a major step and admitted to committing wire fraud in 2020.
The confession corroborated the hypothesis that the direction was in the higher echelons and was systemic in nature. It partly exonerated the group’s former executives, who in any case were complicit.
The bank was sentenced to a deferred payment over three years of a sum of approximately $920 million in a criminal fine, criminal disgorgement and victim compensation with parallel resolutions of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission announced in conjunction with the conviction.
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