The trader who cost J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. over $6 billion in losses (at least) won't face charges from the U.S. That's because he's agreed to cooperate in the FBI's and the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office's investigation into the company. Bruno Iksil, otherwise known as the "London Whale," will avoid charges as long as he continues to help investigators.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Iksil, who is French, will also avoid civil charges from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and Securities and Exchange Commission thanks to his cooperation. The former London-based trader provided the U.S. with "evidence that he warned others about the losses and urged proper valuations be attached to the troublesome positions," the Journal reports, which will probably lead to charges against other former London employees of the New York-based company.
While the story of J.P. Morgan's massive loss centers around Iksil, it's not the traders that criminal investigators are after. The criminal case, as the New York Times explains, is looking into whether the bank knew at the time that their losses in the scandal would top their initial estimate of $2 billion. That, by the way, is a different investigation from the one J.P. Morgan disclosed last week: the bank also faces criminal and civil probes into their their offerings of mortgage-backed securities between 2005 and 2007.
Previous reports named Iksil supervisor Javier Martin-Artajo and fellow trader Julien Grout as two likely candidates for criminal charges in the probe. Grout reported to Iksil, and was responsible for helping the trader mark his book. The S.E.C. would also like the bank as a whole to admit culpability in the scandal as part of any civil settlement, according to the Times. They'd also face a fine.
Iksil began making headlines in the spring of 2012 for an unavoidably noticeable series of risky bets. It cost Iksil (and others) their jobs, led to a rebuke of J.P. Morgan CEO Jaime Dimon (who, granted, still got a $10 million bonus after the whole thing), and, of course, the U.S. civil and criminal investigations into the losses and their alleged cover-up.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.