JPMorgan's 'Whale' Trader Agrees to Deal With Feds
By Christopher Harress
A deal has been agreed that will ensure the "London Whale," former JPMorgan Chase (JPM) trader Bruno Iksil, won't face criminal charges after he agreed to provide evidence about the internal communications at the bank to the U.S. Justice Department.
Iksil will also avoid civil charges after the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and Securities and Exchange Commission decided not to pursue the case, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday.
Agreements like this are a common occurrence when key witnesses provide details of what happened. This has, however, led prosecutors closer to filing possible charges against former JP Morgan traders Javier Martin-Artajo and Julien Grout, although it's unclear what the charges will be.
Separately, Reuters reported that Lawyers for Martin-Artajo, who is expected to face U.S. criminal charges for his role in the trading scandal that cost the bank $6.2 billion, said Tuesday he expects to be cleared of wrongdoing and has cooperated with regulators, according to Reuters.
"Mr. Martin-Artajo has co-operated with every internal and external inquiry which was required of him in the U.K.," said a statement released by lawyers at Norton Rose Fulbright in London.
Martin-Artajo is expected to face criminal charges for trying to inflate the value of trading positions held on his group's books. The mismarking allegedly took place as the team tried to hide mounting losses in an illiquid derivatives market, where they had made outsized bets.
Martin-Artajo worked for JPMorgan's chief investment office in London. After the trading losses became public, he was fired from the bank.
Lista Cannon in London and Richard Smith in Washington are representing Martin-Artajo in the matter. Neither responded directly to Reuters' requests for comment.
The statement followed reports that Martin-Artajo could face arrest in London on the U.S. charges. The events surrounding the trading losses are also being probed by U.K. authorities.
"Mr. Martin-Artajo is confident that when a complete and fair reconstruction of these complex events is completed, he will be cleared of any wrongdoing," the statement said, adding Martin-Artajo was away on a "long-planned vacation."
Martin-Artajo supervised Bruno Iksil, the JPMorgan trader known as "the London Whale" for his outsized trades in the company's chief investment office. Iksil is cooperating with government investigators and won't face criminal charges, Reuters has reported.