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JPMorgan metals trader pleads guilty to spoofing, resigns from bank

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By Jonathan Stempel

NEWYORK (Reuters) – A JPMorgan Chase & Co <JPM.N> precious metals trader pleaded guilty to spoofing, or placing bogus trade offers, on Tuesday, when he also resigned as an executive director at the bank.

The guilty plea and resignation of Christian Trunz, 34, of London, were announced by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Trunz admitted in the federal court in Brooklyn, New York, to having from July 2007 to August 2016 at JPMorgan and another bank placed thousands of orders for gold, platinum and palladium futures contracts that he never intended to complete.

While the Justice Department did not identify the banks by name in court papers, Trunz had worked for JPMorgan since at least 2008, according to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s BrokerCheck database.

Lawyers for Trunz did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A spokeswoman for JPMorgan declined to comment.

Trunz’s plea followed a guilty plea to spoofing last October by another JPMorgan trader, John Edmonds, in a Connecticut federal court.

The Justice Department said Trunz, who worked in New York, London and Singapore, learned about spoofing from more senior traders and engaged in the practice with the consent of his immediate supervisors.

U.S. prosecutors have charged several other traders with spoofing, and their probe into the practice is continuing. JPMorgan said in a Feb. 26 regulatory filing that it was cooperating with the probe.

Trunz pleaded guilty to one count of spoofing and one count of conspiracy to engage in spoofing. His sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 19, 2020. Edmonds has yet to be sentenced.

The case is U.S. v Trunz, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, No. 19-cr-00375.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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