There was a time when the merest mention of gold manipulation in “reputable” media was enough to have one branded a perpetual conspiracy theorist with a tinfoil farm out back… and immediately banned from social media.
That was roughly coincident with a time when Libor, FX, mortgage, and bond market manipulation was also considered unthinkable, when High Frequency Traders were believed to “provide liquidity”, or when the stock market was said to not be manipulated by the Fed, and when the ever-confused media, always eager to take “complicated” financial concepts at the face value set by a self-serving establishment, never dared to question anything.
That has now changed…
In November 2018, a former JPMorgan precious-metals trader admitted he engaged in a six-year spoofing scheme that defrauded investors in gold, silver, platinum, and palladium futures contracts.
John Edmonds, 36, of Brooklyn, New York, pleaded guilty under seal on Oct. 9 in the District of Connecticut to commodities fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, commodities price manipulation, and spoofing. As Justice notes in a statement:
“From approximately 2009 through 2015 John Edmonds engaged in a sophisticated scheme to manipulate the market for precious metals futures contracts for his own gain by placing orders that were never intended to be executed,” said Assistant Attorney General Benczkowski.
“The Criminal Division is committed to prosecuting those who undermine the investing public’s trust in the integrity of our commodities markets through spoofing or any other illegal conduct.”
That was followed, a year later, by the DOJ charging the entire precious-metals trading desk at JPMorgan of being deeply involved in what prosecutors described as a “massive, multiyear scheme to manipulate the market for precious metals futures contracts and defraud market participants.”