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Tim Balk
September 29, 2020

JPMorgan Chase, accused of presiding over thousands of episodes of illegal trading in precious metals and Treasury markets, said Tuesday that it will pay about $920 million as part of an agreement with the Justice Department.

The Justice Department said employees stationed on desks in New York, London and Singapore engaged in an unlawful schemes to trade gold, silver, platinum, and palladium futures contracts, scooping up orders with the intention of canceling them before they were executed.

“The conduct of the individuals referenced in today’s resolutions is unacceptable and they are no longer with the firm,” Daniel Pinto, co-president of JPMorgan, said in a statement.

The manipulations in metals markets — which began around 2008 and lasted into 2016 — involved ten former traders, according to a deferred prosecution agreement signed by Stacey Friedman, the banking giant’s top lawyer.

Five former JPMorgan employees also participated in thousands of instances of illegal trading in Treasury markets, the agreement said.

“For nearly a decade, a significant number of JP Morgan traders and sales personnel openly disregarded U.S. laws that serve to protect against illegal activity in the marketplace,” William F. Sweeney Jr., the assistant director in charge of the FBI’s New York field office, said in a statement.

In the statement, Sweeney added that the big-bucks penalty should serve as a “stark reminder to others that allegations of this nature will be aggressively investigated.”

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