Javier Martin-Artajo, former JP Morgan Chase & Co trader was released from Court after he told the Madrid legal system he refused to be extradited.
Martin-Artajo turned himself in to the authorities early Monday morning after being contacted by American investigators regarding his role in trading losses that accounted for over $6.2 billion dollars. The former trader was charged earlier in August by U.S courts for his involvement in the ‘Whale Case’, where he could face as much as 20 years in prison. As a citizen of Madrid, Martin-Artajo told the courts he declined extradition and was released.
The key player in the ‘Whale’ case is Bruno Iksil, a Frenchman coined the name the ‘London Whale’. His trades allegedly cost JP Morgan Chase & Co over $6.2 billion. Martin-Artajo, age 49, faces chargers that include conspiracy and wire fraud if expedited and could be sentences to as much as 20 years in prison for aiding Iksil. Martin-Artajo was responsible for the trading strategy on Iksil’s forged portfolio out of JP Morgan’s chief investment office in London.
The U.S now has 40 days to provide Madrid courts with the requested documentation in the case at which time Martin-Artajo will reappear in court and be re-questioned as to whether or not he will agree to the extradition. At this time Martin-Artajo’s lawyer has filed a not-guilty plea with courts and Martin-Artajo is denying all charges. Pending investigation by Madrid court officials, Martin-Artajo cannot leave Spain and speculation has been reported that his passport has been confiscated.
Also sited in the ‘Whale” case is French citizen Julien Grout who is currently living in France and not under arrest. Under the extradition treaty, France has no obligations to extradite Grout to New York to face charges although his representing lawyer Edward Little of Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP commented on his behalf August 12, two days prior to charges filed. Grout is charged alongside Martin-Artajo with conspiring to falsify securities filings from March to May of 2012.
Iksil, named the ‘London Whale’ due to the size of his portfolio agreed to work with investigators, signing a non-prosecution agreement in June with the U.S. Martin-Artajo’s lawyer submitted documents with the details of the agreement in Madrid courts.
After bad bets, JP Morgan Chase & Co was subjected to probes by the Securities and Exchange Commission and U.K Financial Conduct Authority. Chief Executive Officer for the corporation claims the situation is one of the most embarrassing situations the company has been a part of. Before the unveiling of information surrounding the case and potential arrests was released on August 14, the U.S made attempts to keep the case secret and out of media attention.
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