A former JPMorgan Chase and Credit Suisse precious metals trader was convicted of fraud Friday, wrapping up a long-running Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation into the manipulation of the precious metals markets from 2008-16.
Christopher Jordan, a former executive director and trader on JPMorgan’s precious metals desk, was convicted of one count of wire fraud affecting a financial institution in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, the DOJ announced in a press release. He faces up to 30 years in prison and will be sentenced at an unspecified date.
Between 2008-10, Jordan allegedly placed thousands of orders for gold and silvers futures on the Commodity Exchange (COMEX) that he intended to cancel, in an attempt to “drive prices in a direction more favorable to orders he intended to execute on the opposite side of the market,” the DOJ said. This deceptive trading practice is called “spoofing.” COMEX is operated by CME Group.
“These deceptive orders were intended to inject false and misleading information about the genuine supply and demand for gold and silver futures contracts into the markets,” the DOJ said.
Jordan was one of five former JPMorgan traders who faced charges in the spoofing scheme, for which the firm was fined more than $920 million by three regulators to settle two counts of wire fraud in September 2020. The firm also entered into a three-year deferred prosecution agreement with the DOJ.
In August, Gregg Smith and Michael Nowak were convicted after trial in the Northern District of Illinois of wire fraud affecting a financial institution, commodities fraud, attempted price manipulation, and spoofing. In August 2019, Christian Trunz pleaded guilty in the Eastern District of New York to one count of conspiracy to engage in spoofing and one count of spoofing. In October 2018, John Edmonds pleaded guilty in the District of Connecticut to one count of commodities fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, commodities fraud, price manipulation, and spoofing.
All four await sentencing, the DOJ said.
A spokesperson for JPMorgan Chase declined to comment.