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UPDATE 1-JPMorgan's role in metals spoofing is under U.S. criminal probe - Bloomberg Law

Bloomberg Law@ (Adds background)

Feb 5 (Reuters) - U.S. authorities that accused six JPMorgan Chase & Co employees of rigging precious-metals futures are building a criminal case against the bank itself, Bloomberg Law reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

No formal accusations have been made against the bank, the report https://bit.ly/36WJwPP said. The probe raises the prospect of criminal charges and significant fines against the bank, the report added.

A probe by U.S. regulators including the Department of Justice and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission has already resulted in charges against six current and former employees of JPMorgan in 2018 and 2019 related to alleged spoofing activity between 2007 and 2016. (https://reut.rs/36ZkRKu)

The charges have alleged the illegal trading practices took place across JPMorgan's global precious metals trading desks in New York, London and Singapore.

JPMorgan has said in U.S. regulatory filings that its metals trading practices are the subject of probes from "various authorities" and that it is "responding to and cooperating with these investigations."

In recent years, there has a been a surge in spoofing-related prosecutions in the United States by the DOJ and the CFTC.

Spoofing involves placing bids to buy or offers to sell contracts with the intent to cancel them before execution, allowing traders to influence prices.

JPMorgan was not immediately available for a Reuters request for comment on the Bloomberg Law report. (Reporting by Bharath Manjesh in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)