Justice Department stalls another class action in gold market rigging, this one against JPM

Justice Department stalls another class action in gold market rigging, this one against JPM by Chris Powell for GATA

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

Proceedings in the federal class-action anti-trust lawsuit against JPMorganChase charging the investment bank with manipulating the gold and silver futures markets —

http://www.gata.org/node/18844

— have been suspended for three months at the request of the U.S. Justice Department, just as the department has arranged suspension of proceedings in the class-action anti-trust lawsuit against Deutsche Bank charging similar market manipulation.

In both cases the Justice Department has told U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York that proceedings would jeopardize its criminal investigation into market rigging, which has been admitted by a former JPMorganChase trader, John Edmonds, who awaits sentencing.

According to court filings, the White Plains, New York, law firm representing the plaintiffs against JPMorganChase, Lowey Dannenberg, concurred in the government’s request to suspend proceedings. The stay is to continue for three months and may be extended.

The Justice Department’s motion, granted by the court on February 26 —

http://www.gata.org/files/JPMorganChaseClassActionStay.pdf

— said “the government is not seeking an open-ended stay that could indefinitely postpone this matter and thus jeopardize the parties’ interests in a timely resolution.” The motion added, “Any developments in the criminal case during the period the consolidated action is stayed may reduce or completely resolve the need to litigate certain issues in the consolidated action.”

Much of the Justice Department’s motion is redacted to conceal from the public evidence still under investigation. Edmonds has said he and other traders manipulated the gold and silver markets for years with the knowledge of their supervisors at JPMorganChase. In its motion to conceal that evidence, also granted by the court on February 26, the Justice Department said disclosure “could lead to destruction of evidence, flight from prosecution, and otherwise interfere with the government’s ability to conduct its investigation”:

http://www.gata.org/files/JPMorganChaseClassActionStaySeal.pdf

Monetary metals investors may be skeptical of the Justice Department’s stalling the Deutsche Bank and JPMorganChase cases, since the department and the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission do not seem ever to have responded conscientiously to complaints of gold and silver market rigging until the class actions commenced.

How much time will the court give the Justice Department to delay getting to the bottom of the issue? The court might hasten matters if enough monetary metals mining companies protested the harm done to them and their shareholders by market rigging, but of course most monetary metals mining companies don’t mind at all.

CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.
CPowell@GATA.org

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Chris Powell

The Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee was organized in the fall of 1998 to expose, oppose, and litigate against collusion to control the price and supply of gold and related financial instruments. The committee arose from essays by Bill Murphy, a financial commentator on the Internet (LeMetropoleCafe.com), and by Chris Powell, a newspaper editor in Connecticut. Murphy's essays reported evidence of collusion among financial institutions to suppress the price of gold. Powell, whose newspaper had been involved in antitrust litigation, replied with an essay proposing that gold mining and investor interests should act on Murphy's essays by bringing antitrust lawsuits against financial institutions involved in the collusion against gold. The response to these essays was so favorable that the committee was formed and formally incorporated in Delaware in January 1999. Murphy became chairman and Powell secretary and treasurer.