JPMorgan wins dismissal
of silver price-fixing lawsuit by Reuters
| Mar 18, 2013 5:05pm EDT
(Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) has won the
dismissal of a nationwide investors' lawsuit accusing the
largest U.S. bank of conspiring to drive down silver prices.
U.S. District Judge Robert Patterson in Manhattan said
the investors, who bought and sold COMEX silver futures
and options contracts, failed to show that JPMorgan manipulated
prices at their expense, including by amassing huge short
positions that were not justified by market events at the
In a decision made public on Monday, Patterson said that
while the investors showed that JPMorgan had the ability
to influence prices, a fact the bank did not dispute, they
failed to show that the bank "intended to cause artificial
prices to exist" and acted accordingly.
A lawyer for the investors did not immediately respond
to a request for comment.
JPMorgan did not immediately respond to a similar request.
Investors had, in at least 43 complaints filed in 2010
and 2011, accused banks of amassing hundreds of millions
of dollars in illegal profit by manipulating silver prices.
After the lawsuits were consolidated, HSBC Holdings Plc
(HSBA.L) was dropped in September 2011 as a defendant, leaving
JPMorgan and 20 unnamed individuals as defendants.
Patterson had rejected the investors' claims in December,
but gave them one last chance to bolster their case.
The complaint had sought triple damages for what it called
JPMorgan's antitrust violations in distorting silver prices
between 2007 and 2010, including through alleged "fake"
trades late in the day when market volume was thin.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission began probing
allegations of silver price manipulation in 2008, and two
years later proposed regulations to give it greater power
to thwart traders who try to manipulate prices.
The case is In re: Commodity Exchange Inc Silver Futures
and Options Trading Litigation, U.S. District Court, Southern
District of New York, No. 11-md-02213.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by