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

Institutional FX

Invast Global ramps up its offering with 10 soft commodity CFDs

Sydney-based prime-of-prime provider Invast Global has expanded its offering with the addition of ten soft commodity CFDs, which increases their index and commodity CFD offering to 35 instruments.

Retail FX

FF Simple and Smart Trades says Goodbye to CySEC authorization

The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) confirmed that it has wholly withdrawn the Cyprus Investment Firm (CIF) licenses of FF Simple and Smart Trades Investment Services Ltd.

Crypto Insider

Shining the Light in Crypto’s Dark Places

Something changed in regulators’ minds after the November crash of the FTX crypto exchange.

Executive Moves

Financial Commission Adds Sam Low to Dispute Resolution Committee

The Financial Commission (FinaCom PLC), a dispute resolution service that caters to the financial services industry, has appointed Sam Low as the newest member of its Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC).

Digital Assets, Uncategorized

De-facto owner of Bithumb exchange arrested in South Korea

South Korean prosecutors have arrested Kang Jong-Hyun, the anonymous chairman and owner of the country’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Bithumb, on charges of embezzlement and stock manipulation.

Retail FX

Interactive Brokers volumes snap three-month losing streak

Electronic brokerage firm Interactive Brokers LLC (NASDAQ:IBKR) said its trading volumes rose in January, an indication that investor confidence in the financial markets is rebounding after having been fairly mixed over the past few months.

Digital Assets

VVF invests $5 million in Everscale, a potential Layer 2 solution for Venom blockchain

“For us, this is a strategic investment aimed at the technological development of projects and teams around technologies that we focus on and actively develop. In particular, we are talking about the Venom blockchain project and its ecosystem, which is planned to be launched soon and for which Everscale is a potential Layer 2 solution.”

Institutional FX

FXSpotStream volume ends string of declines on January rebound

Trading volumes on institutional FX platforms surged in January as traders increased their bets on central bankers’ policy with evidence mounting that inflation and economic growth are both losing momentum.

Industry News

DeFi firm Aurox launches SEC-compliant crowdfunding campaign on tZERO

“This is a great opportunity for us to raise capital from our community and the broader public on a leading fully regulated platform. We are confident that the tZERO Markets platform will provide us with the exposure and reach we need to attract a diverse investors to support our business growth.”