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September 21, 2020

Ex JPMorgan Trader Jailed For Manipulation

Akshay Aiyer, a former Emerging Market FX trader at JPMorgan, has been sentenced to eight months and ordered to pay $150,000 for market manipulation.

Using Bloomberg chat rooms, personal mobile phones, and private meetings Aiyer conspired to manipulate Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (CEEMA) markets, prices and spreads. Others involved were Jason Katz (formerly at Standard Chartered) and Christopher Cummins (formerly at Citi), who both received a more lenient sentence in return for helping with the prosecution of Aiyer.

In November 2019, a jury found Akshay Aiyer guilty of entering into and participating in a conspiracy to fix prices and rig bids of CEEMEA currencies. They rigged bids to customers and coordinated their trading in the interdealer market, withholding bids and offers, to push prices in their favour. The list of those affected includes pension funds, college savings funds, foundations, mutual funds, and retirement accounts.

The U.S. has targeted more than half a dozen FX traders, and banks around the world have paid more than $10 billion in penalties for misconduct in the FX since the crackdown began. Citi, Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland and JPMorgan all pleaded guilty in 2015 to rigging FX rates and agreed to pay about $2.5 billion to the Justice Department as part of a $5.8 billion settlement with regulators.

 


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