GOLD FUTURES SCANDAL RESULTS IN GUILTY VERDICTS

A long-running gold and silver futures price manipulation scandal has resulted in the conviction of two top traders at the nation’s largest bank, JP Morgan Chase.

A federal jury convicted Michael Nowak, who ran JP Morgan’s precious metals desk, and trader Greg Smith of price manipulation, fraud, and spoofing, which involves placing deceptive orders and then canceling them to influence futures prices. Evidence at trial revealed the widespread futures manipulation scheme took place over eight years, from 2008 through 2016.

The convictions bring to ten the number of precious metals traders convicted in the scandal at major banks,  including Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank, The Bank of Nova Scotia, and Morgan Stanley. JP Morgan previously admitted to illegal trading in precious metals futures, as well as Treasury securities, and agreed to pay  $920 million to settle the charges. 

For individual investors, the convictions are a harsh reminder of the potential dangers of purchasing precious metals futures, rather than genuine gold, and the risks of trying to capitalize on short-term price movements in the futures market. 

Gold is best purchased as a hard asset that is held for the long-term to protect one’s wealth and stabilize investment portfolios from the inherent volatility of non-tangible financial assets, particularly stocks.

Those who believe they may have been victimized by price manipulation in the futures markets may contact the Justice Department’s Fraud Section Victim Witness Program. The victim assistance phone line is (888) 549-3945 and the email is victimassistance.fraud@usdoj.gov.