Former JP Morgan FX trader Akshay Aiyer has been found guilty by a New York jury of price fixing relating to his activities in various Bloomberg chatrooms in which he colluded with other traders to manipulate markets, prices and spreads to clients, according to a report by Law360.
The jury convicted Aiyer after a short deliberation, officially finding him guilty of conspiring to restrain trade in violation of the Sherman Act – an offence that can carry up to a 10-year prison sentence and a $1 million fine.
Aiyer was indicted in May 2018 when he was charged with conspiring to fix prices and rig bids and offers in Central and Eastern European, Middle Eastern, and African (CEEMEA) currencies. The indictment claimed that from at least as early as October 2010 through at least July 2013, Aiyer, along with other New York-based CEEMEA traders working for rival banks, participated in a conspiracy designed to suppress competition in order to increase each trader’s profits and decrease each trader’s losses.
Two of those traders, Jason Katz, formerly of Standard Bank, Barclays, BNP Paribas and ANZ; and Christopher Cummins, formerly of Citi, had previously pleaded guilty to the same offence and agreed to help the prosecution in return for a more lenient sentence. Both men provided testimony at Aiyer’s trial, describing how they colluded in chatrooms whilst giving the pretence of competing.