Daily fraud update: 21st November

Christoph Haaks

Ex JP Morgan trader convicted over forex rigging claims

A man who used to work for global financial services institution JP Morgan has been convicted of forex price fixing and rigging.

Akshay Aiyer, who used to work for the firm but no longer does so, was found guilty of antitrust law violation by a jury.

The conviction came just two hours after the jury began deliberating.

Sentencing has not yet occurred, although according to press reports he is likely to face a fine of $1m and potentially a decade in jail.

He will be sentenced next April.

The trial saw evidence come from two other people who were accused.

Christopher Cummins, who used to work for Citigroup, was one of them and Jason Katz, who was formerly associated with Barclays, was the other.

Both of them had agreed to co-operate with prosecutors.

They told the court that those involved in the rigging scam would use various ways to communicate with one another, including chat rooms and social media sites.

In a statement, Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim from the Department of Justice said that his organisation had a “commitment” to prosecuting people like Aiyer.

“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”, he said.

Government permitted to get involved in alleged fraud case

The US government has been permitted to intervene in a case of alleged bitcoin fraud.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) will be permitted to intervene in the case of Jon Barry Thompson, who is accused of carrying out a crypto scam totalling $7m.

The CFTC has already been attempting to prosecute Thompson, but the intervention from the New York Southern District Court and its Judge Loretta A. Preska means that the organisation will definitely be permitted to continue.

“Upon the consent of all relevant parties, the Government’s application to intervene in the above entitled matter and to stay the matter in its entirety until the conclusion of the parallel criminal case, United States v. Jon Barry Thompson […] is granted”, reads the ruling.

Thompson stands accused of sending investor monies to third parties – despite not having permission.

The cash was never sent back to the traders.

He was in charge of a bitcoin escrow platform called Volantis at the time of the alleged fraud.

At the time of Thompson’s indictment, US Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman accused Thompson of causing losses of “millions”.

“As alleged, Jon Barry Thompson repeatedly lied to investors in cryptocurrencies about the safety of their investments made through his companies”, Berman said.

“As a result of Thompson’s lies, investors lost millions of dollars.”

The CFTC is endeavouring to hit Thompson with penalties in relation to the case.

It also wants what is known as “injunctive relief” to protect against any future law breaking.


Christoph Haaks

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