Former JPMorgan trader found guilty of rigging currency trades

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A former forex (foreign exchange) trader of JPMorgan Chase & Co was found guilty of conspiracy and rigging trades for personal benefit.

Court records showed that ex-trader Akshay Aiyer was convicted of one count of conspiracy and is scheduled to be sentenced on April 3 in Manhattan.

“This conviction serves as a reminder of our commitment to hold individuals responsible for their involvement in complex financial schemes which violate the integrity of the global financial markets,” US Department of Justice Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim said.

Aiyer, whose current residence is New York City, was indicted in May of 2018. Prosecutors found that Aiyer conspired from October 2010 to July 2013 to lessen competition by rigging bids and changing prices of African, Middle Eastern, and Central and Eastern European currencies.

Aiyer was the sixth person charged in Manhattan federal court in the grounds of currency manipulation as part of the US-wide probe.

Many banks in the US, such as BNP Paribas SA, Barclays Plc, Citigroup Inc, UBS Group AG, and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc have plead guilty. Collectively, these banks have been fined for over $2.8 billion.

Prosecutors said that in an effort to coordinate trading and increase profit, Aiyer and his co-conspirators swapped trading positions, customer information, pricing of customer orders via chat rooms, text messages, and phone calls.

The co-conspirators included former traders Christopher Cummins, who worked at Citigroup and Jason Katz, who worked at Barclays and BNP Paribas. The two pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges and cooperated with prosecutors in 2017.  

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