The crooked precious metals trading department at JPMorgan Chase lost another man last week. Christian Trunz pleaded guilty to criminal “spoofing” of the markets and resigned from his position as an Executive Director with the bank.
The story mirrors that of John Edmonds, the Chase banker who pleaded guilty last October for rigging gold and silver prices.
Like Edmonds’ illicit trading activity, Trunz’s was pervasive. It spanned nearly a decade – from 2007 through 2016 – and involved many “thousands” of orders.
The disgraced banker has agreed to cooperate with the Department of Justice investigation. He has told investigators his training on how to cheat was conducted by JPMorgan executives even more senior than himself.
Trunz is not the only gold and silver trader to plead guilty this summer.
Corey Flaum, who dutifully rigged prices for a combined 9 years, first at Bear Stearns then at Scotia Capital, admitted guilt in July. Again, the admission covered years of activity and “thousands” of fraudulent orders. He has also told investigators he received his training in the dark arts from more senior executives.
The picture is getting clearer with each new revelation. Senior bank executives at multiple bullion banks are accused of training and supervising a roster of traders tasked with cheating their own clients and other market participants.
These are not isolated incidents involving “rogue” employees. This fraud is organized, pervasive, and long-term.
Yet, none of the corrupt banks involved have lost their trading privileges!
Widespread price rigging is now an established fact in the precious metals markets. The only question is whether JPMorgan Chase and the other banks will be held truly accountable.
More crooked traders turning state’s evidence is certainly a good sign. However, at least two crooked banks have already cut deals with prosecutors – Deutsche Bank and, more recently, Bank of America.
These institutions wield enormous leverage in Washington, much like Jeffrey Epstein apparently did. Let’s hope the banks do not all escape with the same sort of sweetheart non-prosecution agreements the pedophile received a decade ago.