U.S. invokes racketeering (RICO) law in charging metals traders
U.S. prosecutors took an unusually aggressive turn in their investigation of price fixing at JPMorgan Chase & Co., describing its precious metals trading desk as a criminal enterprise operating inside the bank for nearly a decade.
The prosecutors charged the head of JPMorgan’s global precious metals trading operation and two others on Monday, accusing them of “conspiracy to conduct the affairs of an enterprise involved in interstate or foreign commerce through a pattern of racketeering activity.”
The head of the bank’s global precious metals desk, Michael Nowak, and two others ripped off market participants and even clients as they illegally moved prices for gold, silver, platinum and palladium. Nowak was placed on leave last month, a person familiar with the matter has said. The other traders charged were Gregg Smith, 55 and Christopher Jordan, 47.
JPMorgan declined to comment.