JPMorgan trader fighting Whale charges says he was only following orders

Beached Whale

Julien Grout, a former JPMorgan trader charged with trying to hide the bank’s record trading loss last year, is arguing to prosecutors that he was following orders from his then-boss, Bruno Iksil, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Bloomberg reports that Grout’s lawyers provided records including e-mails to U.S. prosecutors in Manhattan in the past two weeks in an effort to cast doubt on the government’s assertion that Iksil resisted pressure to inflate the value of the trades, said the people, who asked not to be named because the talks were private.

While Grout and another supervisor, Javier Martin-Artajo, were charged with conspiracy and wire fraud, Iksil - nicknamed the London Whale - avoided prosecution after agreeing to cooperate with authorities.

The exchange shows that Grout, who is fighting accusations he improperly marked assets to hide losses, is trying to damage his former boss’s credibility. In announcing charges against Grout and Martin-Artajo last month, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in Manhattan said Iksil had sounded the alarm 'more than once' to co-workers.

'It may be part of an attempt to tell the government that this case is weaker than you think, and you’ll be embarrassed', John Coffee, a securities law professor at Columbia University Law School, said of Grout’s effort. E-mails are often a matter of debate, with defense attorneys trying 'to tell the prosecution that they can’t go forward because their interpretation is wrong'.

To access the complete Bloomberg article hit the link below

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