JPMorgan precious metal probe expands as another is charged


By Steve Stroth
Bloomberg News
Friday, November 15, 2019

Another JPMorgan Chase & Co. official was charged in the U.S. probe of the bank's precious metals trading operation.

Jeffrey Ruffo, a former JPMorgan executive director on the metals desk in New York who specialized in hedge fund sales, was charged with fraud conspiracy and racketeering conspiracy, according to a superseding indictment made public Friday in federal court in Chicago.

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The allegations are part of a broader investigation of market spoofing that has now resulted in charges against six bank employees. Indictments against Michael Nowak -- JPMorgan’s global head of precious metals trading -- and Gregg Smith were made public in September and they have pleaded not guilty. Another defendant, Christopher Jordan, plans to plead not guilty, according to his lawyer. All three have been free on bond since their arrests.

In one instance in January 2012, when a hedge fund client wanted to sell 93,200 ounces of gold, Ruffo alerted JPMorgan traders who then placed deceptive orders to buy gold futures in an attempt to push prices higher, according to the indictment. Ruffo will be arraigned in Chicago on Dec. 5, court documents show. ...

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