DOJ insists former JPMorgan FX trader should get prison term - FinanceFeeds

DOJ insists former JPMorgan FX trader should get prison term

Maria Nikolova

Akshay Aiyer, convicted for his participation in an antitrust conspiracy to manipulate prices for emerging market currencies in the Forex market, deserves a sentence of imprisonment of between 37–46 months, the US authorities argue.

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has opposed a request by Akshay Aiyer, former currency trader at JPMorgan convicted for his participation in an antitrust conspiracy to manipulate prices for emerging market currencies in the Forex market, for a sentence of probation.

In a letter filed with the New York Southern District Court on September 10, 2020, the DOJ says that Court should reject Aiyer’s request because the defendant:

  • overstates the certainty of possible collateral consequences flowing from his alienage and any custodial sentence greater than one year;
  • claims he is “similarly situated” to two defendants sentenced in the Southern District of New York, when he is not; and
  • exaggerates safety concerns by ignoring the affirmative measures the Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) has taken to protect inmates from COVID-19 and the fact that, as a healthy, 37-year-old, he lacks any characteristic that would place him at greater risk of contracting, or suffering severe illness from, COVID-19.

Further, the DOJ argues the defendant’s requested sentence would severely undervalue the seriousness of the offense and the need to provide just punishment, promote respect for the law, promote general deterrence for white-collar criminals, and avoid unwarranted sentencing disparity among others convicted of the same crime.

According to the DOJ, the Court should impose a sentence that is sufficient but not greater than necessary to achieve the purposes of sentencing—namely, a period of imprisonment of between 37–46 months, supervised release of three years, and a substantial criminal fine as set out in the government’s Sentencing Memorandum.

Let’s recall that, in November 2019, a jury found Akshay Aiyer guilty of knowingly entering into and participating in a conspiracy to fix prices and rig bids of currencies from Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (CEEMEA currencies). He was found to have conspired with Christopher Cummins, Jason Katz, and Nicholas Williams to manipulate the FX market. They rigged bids to customers and coordinated their trading in the interdealer market to push price in their favor, and to the disadvantage of others in the market. The list of those affected includes pension funds, college savings funds, foundations, mutual funds, and retirement accounts.

Read this next

Inside View

Stable Scandinavia: Nordic currencies going for absolute gold. We get the inside view

Following a Bloomberg report that singled out Nordic currencies as ones to watch this year, FinanceFeeds took a look within.

Industry News

Bureaucratic FX industry stifler Gary Gensler tipped as Joe Biden’s new SEC chair

During his term, the CFTC created 68 new rules, orders and guidance’s and extended its regulatory reach to encompass not only exchange-traded derivatives but also the far larger OTC markets as well. Will he cosy up to ESMA?

Industry News

DriveWealth buys US floor trading firm

30% of the DriveWealth’s orders in Q4 2020 were placed outside of normal trading hours

Industry News

The Daily Telegraph calls time on Spread Betting and CFDs

Questor acknowledges that it has openly tipped the shares of CMC Markets in the past, but also that the shares have risen by 269% since then and that selling after such a run would be “prudent”

Inside View

SE Asia’s derivatives trading explosion should make all FX brokers look long and hard

SE Asia has been a region of importance for many years. FX brokers went in en masse, some got a bloody nose, some sold to Chinese firms. Meanwhile, exchange traded contracts for retail clients are at unprecedented highs and sustainable. Going on-exchange and multi-asset is the future for firms wanting to approach Asia.


How can FX relationship managers and directors maintain relationships in a Corona world? – Op Ed

“The marketplace is cram packed with FX firms vying for business and the only difference is how their personnel approach and handle the clients” says Meir Velenski


How to protect your corporate FX exposure from British pound volatility

The corporate foreign exchange impact from the UK’s divorce from the EU can be mitigated.

Industry News

Bank of Russia joins Global FX Code

We take a look at the ethos and origins of the Global FX Code, and how Russia’s FX brokers may well align with those of the West as a result of the Russian Central Bank’s position

Industry News

The UK chancellor plans a second “Big Bang” for London’s markets

Currently, the chancellor’s vision seems to be long on promise and short on substance