Search Site

Former Metals Traders for JP Morgan Face Racketeering Charges

A federal judge in Chicago ruled that four ex-employees for JPMorgan Chase & Co. must face racketeering charges upon accusations of price manipulation of metals futures.

The judge’s decision resulted in a trial being set for October 19. The case represented the most heavy-handed attempts by the U.S. Department of Justice so far to prevent manipulation of commodities.

Case background

Prosecutors in the case claim several former global precious metals desk traders from JPMorgan regularly manipulated prices of gold, platinum, silver and palladium between 2008 and 2016. The defendants attempted to have the case dismissed, arguing one spoofing conspiracy was not enough to allow for a racketeering charge to proceed in court.

However, the judge disagreed with the defendants’ assertion, and also allowed eleven other charges to stand, spread across several categories: market manipulation, spoofing, commodities and wire fraud, and conspiracy. The judge did eliminate charges of bank fraud.

JPMorgan, for its part, settled a variety of spoofing cases with the DOJ and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in September to the tune of $920 million, and in doing so also admitted to wrongdoing.

The defendants in the case are former head of global precious metals Michael Nowak, former traders Christopher Jordan and Gregg Smith, and a former salesperson Jeffrey Ruffo, who allegedly engaged in the conspiracy together.

For more information about the steps you should take if you believe there has been a fraudulent conspiracy occurring in your workplace, contact an experienced whistleblower lawyer at Kardell Law Group.

Awards & Honors
Our Office
  • Dallas Office
    4514 Cole Ave
    Dallas, Texas 75205
    Phone: 214-306-8045
    Fax: 469-729-9926
As Seen In
In his new book, "Standing Up to China: How a Whistleblower Risked Everything for His Country," former client & Author, Ashley Yablon, quotes Attorney Steve Kardell about Whistelblower Law.
  • "Steve Kardell was terrific in representing me in some very adversarial discussions with Citigroup and also later represented me in my testimony before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission."  -Richard Bowen, Citigroup Whistleblower

  • "Incredible knowledge of employee related concerns and equally brilliant knowledge of health care regulations, standards of practice. I would recommend this firm to anyone."  -V.B.

  • "Reaching out to Steve Kardell was the best decision I made. His ability to provide immediate insight and direction was very powerful, and a huge relief during a very stressful time period. For anyone struggling with a whistleblower situation, I would highly recommend at least speaking with Steve. After a 10 minute call with him, I had a better understanding of what I was dealing with. Even better, he gave me some immediate hope. In the end Steve did a better job than I thought was possible. Steve was able to get in contact with people in my organization, that I didn’t have access to. Because of his years of experience, he already has contacts in many organizations in Dallas. The entire situation was handled peacefully. I was impressed by his ability to “keep the peace”–rather than creating a battle with the organization. The reason I didn’t reach out to a lawyer initially, was because I thought it would mean an immediate end to any hope of a positive relationship with the company. Steve was able to address my concerns, and in the end I was able to continue to work for them."  -KS

  • "Never thought my career would end like it did after 30 years of service. I was part of the first round of the so called reduction of force. I asked myself how can I be part of this with 30 years of seniority. How did they pick these 90 plus employees? Now, the culture of this organization made you question every decision they made. It wasn’t what you knew it’s was a culture of who you know. Nonetheless, I did not accept their severance package. I immediately starting looking for an attorney who would take on my case. After the initial call to Steve I had hope again. He was open and honest about everything and reassured me he would do his best for me, and he did. I had an awesome outcome. Thanks Steve you’re the best."  -S.S.