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August 15, 2013

Charges Against 2 Traders Fault JPMorgan for Lack of Oversight

More than three thousand miles from the Park Avenue headquarters of JPMorgan Chase, traders in an office building nestled near the Thames River disguised the extent of their losses as a huge bet spun out of control last year, federal authorities say.

While just two former London traders for JPMorgan were criminally charged on Wednesday, the cases intensify the scrutiny of the bank’s executives in New York, where lax controls and the pressure for profits aggravated the problem.

Federal authorities outlined the breakdown in the bank’s oversight in the two criminal complaints against the employees: Javier Martin-Artajo, a manager who oversaw the trading strategy, and Julien Grout, a low-level trader in London. The employees, accused of manipulating the books to disguise hundreds of millions of dollars in losses, operated for months with scant supervision and the impression that higher-ups of the bank supported them.

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“’Two arrests are a good start, but the government must also apply the law without fear or favor to the wealthy of Wall Street,’ said Dennis M. Kelleher, the head of Better Markets, an advocacy group.”

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Read full New York Times article here

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