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JPMorgan Gold Traders Found Guilty After Long Spoofing Trial

  • Jury finds Nowak, Smith used bogus orders to manipulate prices
  • A third defendant, gold desk salesman Jeffrey Ruffo, acquitted
Michael Nowak, former head of precious-metals trading for JPMorgan Chase & Co., center, arrives at federal court in Chicago on, July 8.

Michael Nowak, former head of precious-metals trading for JPMorgan Chase & Co., center, arrives at federal court in Chicago on, July 8.

Photographer: Cheney Orr/Bloomberg
Updated on

The former head of the JPMorgan Chase & Co. precious-metals business and his top gold trader were convicted in Chicago on charges they manipulated markets for years, handing the US government a win in its long crackdown on bogus “spoofing” orders.

Michael Nowak and Gregg Smith were found guilty Wednesday by a federal jury after a three-week trial and more than eight days of deliberations. Prosecutors presented evidence that included detailed trading records, chat logs and testimony by former co-workers who “pulled back the curtain” on how Nowak and Smith moved precious-metals prices up and down for profit from 2008 to 2016.