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Ex-JPMorgan Trader Martin-Artajo Challenges Regulator

Former JPMorgan Chase & Co. Trader Javier Martin-Artajo
Former JPMorgan Chase & Co. Trader Javier Martin-Artajo. Photographer: Angel Navarrete/Bloomberg

Javier Martin-Artajo, the former JPMorgan Chase & Co. banker fighting U.S. extradition from Spain over trading losses that surpassed $6.2 billion, is challenging the U.K. financial regulator in London.

Martin-Artajo, who oversaw synthetic credit trading at the bank’s chief investment office in London, filed the case against the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority at a tribunal last week, according to the court’s website. No other details about the claim were available.

He was indicted in Manhattan federal court in September for allegedly helping to hide losses caused by Bruno Iksil, the Frenchman who became known as the London Whale. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said in a parallel lawsuit that Martin-Artajo and Julien Grout, a trader who worked for him, engaged in a scheme to enhance the portfolio’s apparent performance and thereby curry favor with their supervisors.

Achilles Macris, who led the international CIO at New York-based JPMorgan during the losses, filed a separate challenge against the FCA in October. Macris was “deprived of the opportunity of responding” to the regulator regarding its findings in the case, his lawyers said at the time. The documents in both cases aren’t public.

The FCA fined JPMorgan 138 million pounds ($228 million) in September and found that the CIO’s London management deliberately misled them. Neither Macris nor Martin-Artajo were mentioned by name in the regulator’s report on the fine, and neither were accused of wrongdoing by the agency.

Finance Tribunal

Martin-Artajo’s cases were filed at a finance tribunal which is limited to reviewing disputes involving challenges to decisions by U.K. regulators.

Lara Joseph, a spokeswoman for the FCA, declined to comment. Lista Cannon, a lawyer for Martin-Artajo in London, and William Leone, his attorney in New York, didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Martin-Artajo, a Spanish citizen, asked a court in Madrid in November not to extradite him because the alleged events happened in the U.K. rather than the U.S., and because he has roots in Spain.

Leone told a court in New York earlier this year that his client isn’t a fugitive. Grout and Martin-Artajo have denied wrongdoing, while Iksil is cooperating in the investigation.

The cases are SEC v. Martin-Artajo, 13-cv-05677, and U.S. v. Martin-Artajo, 13-cr-00707, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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