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3 JPMorgan Chase traders charged with manipulating precious medals markets

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Sept. 16 (UPI) — Federal authorities charged two current and one former JPMorgan Chase traders with market manipulation, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Monday.

The three traders participated in a racketeering conspiracy and other federal crimes in connection with the manipulation of markets for precious metals futures contracts, involving thousands of unlawful trading sequences over the course of eight years, the Justice Department said.

The indictment charged Greg Smith, an executive director and trader on the bank’s precious metals desk; Michael Nowak, a managing director who ran the global precious metals desk; and Christopher Jordan, who was an executive director and trader on the precious metals desk before leaving the bank in 2009.

According to the complaint, the three manipulated the prices of gold, silver, platinum and palladium futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange and the CME Commodity Exchange between 2008 and 2016.

“The defendants and others allegedly engaged in a massive, multiyear scheme to manipulate the market for precious metals futures contracts and defraud market participants,” Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski said. “These charges should leave no doubt that the department is committed to prosecuting those who undermine the investing public’s trust in the integrity of our commodities markets.”

Each of the three were charged with one count of conspiracy under the Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organizations Act, one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud affecting a financial institution, one count of bank fraud and one count of wire trafficking fraud.

Smith and Nowak were also each charged with one count of attempted price manipulation, one count of commodities fraud and one count of spoofing.

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