The Justice Department on Monday charged the head of JPMorgan’s precious metals group with defrauding customers and market manipulation.
Michael Nowak, 45, is one of three individuals charged with running an eight-year conspiracy to influence the precious metals market.
Gregg Smith, 55, and Christopher Jordan, 47, two former JPMorgan traders, were also charged.
All three each face two counts of conspiracy, one count of bank fraud and one count of wire fraud. In addition, Mr. Smith and Mr. Nowak face one count of attempted price manipulation, one count of commodities fraud and one count of spoofing.
“The defendants and others allegedly engaged in a massive, multiyear scheme to manipulate the market for precious metals future contracts and defraud market participants,” said Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski. “These charges should leave no doubt that the department is committed to prosecuting those who undermine the investigating public’s trust in the integrity of our commodities markets.”
Prosecutors say the three traders placed fraudulent orders for gold, silver and platinum. The orders were placed to influence the metals’ prices.
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