Following a formal complaint filed against them in August, two former J.P. Morgan Chase employees have been indicted by a New York grand jury on charges that they hid trading losses of over $6.2 billion last year.
Javier Martin-Artajo and Julien Grout were named in the indictment, which was unsealed in a Manhattan federal court on Monday. The money lost was part of the so-called “London Whale” incident, in which trader Bruno Iksil lost a series of considerable bets on a portion of the credit market. Martin-Artajo was Iksil’s supervisor, while Grout was one of his employees.
Iksil has not been charged and is said to be cooperating fully with authorities.
The indictment claims the men knowingly falsified the value of securities from March through May of 2012 in order to "to hide the true extent of significant losses" in the portfolios that they managed. The court document asserts that they did this in an attempt to improve their standing within the company and to reap bonus incentives.
Martin-Artajo and Grout have been charged with securities fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy, making false filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and falsifying books and records. Federal regulators also want the two to relinquish any money made while overseeing trades, including their compensation from J.P. Morgan. Both deny any wrong doing. Grout claims to be a pawn of his supervisors with complete ignorance of any attempts at falsification.
J.P. Morgan is currently dealing with the fallout from the losses but is not expected to be a defendant in this case. The firm is potentially looking at $750 million in fines in connection to the “London Whale” scandal.
According to recent reports, J.P. Morgan is looking to increase its compliance spending considerably in an effort to stem issue like this in the future. A WSJ report says J.P. Morgan plans to spend an additional $4 billion and commit 5,000 extra employees to risk and compliance this year to clean up the company’s issues.
Here’s hoping that’ll buy enough nets to catch the next Whale.