- Former J.P. Morgan Traders Convicted of Fraud, Attempted Price Manipulation, and Spoofing in a Multi-Year Market Manipulation Scheme
A federal jury in the Northern District of Illinois convicted two former precious metals traders at JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPMorgan) today of fraud, attempted price manipulation, and spoofing in a multi-year market manipulation scheme of precious metals futures contracts that spanned over eight years and involved thousands of unlawful trading sequences.
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Gregg Smith, 57, of Scarsdale, New York, was an executive director and trader on JPMorgan’s precious metals desk in New York. Michael Nowak, 47, of Montclair, New Jersey, was a managing director and ran JPMorgan’s global precious metals desk.
The evidence at trial showed that between approximately May 2008 and August 2016, the defendants, along with other traders on the JPMorgan precious metals desk, engaged in a widespread spoofing, market manipulation, and fraud scheme. The defendants placed orders that they intended to cancel before execution in order to drive prices on 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), which are commodities exchanges operated by CME Group Inc. These deceptive orders were intended to inject false and misleading information about the genuine supply and demand for precious metals futures contracts into the markets.