Judge Orders JPM To Re-Hire Trader Wrongfully Fired Over “Spoofing” Scandal
Paging Nat Sarao.
While Sarao, the independent day trader who was arrested and charged with causing the May 2010 flash crash years ago, finished serving his house arrest sentence earlier this year (and is presumably still living with his parents in their West London home), a London judge has just handed down an extremely favorable ruling in an employment case brought by a former JP Morgan trader.
The trader, who was fired by the bank for allegedly participating in “spoofing” – the same technique used by Sarao to manipulate futures markets – claimed that the megabank had wrongfully fired him in order to make it look like JPM was “cleaning house” in the wake of a spoofing scandal that cost the bank nearly $1 billion in penalties.
Now, the employment tribunal has ruled that JPM must re-hire Bradley Jones, the trader who brought the complaint against his former employer, in a role that would pay him roughly $600K a year, in addition to compensating him with back pay stretching back to his termination in early 2020.
According to Bloomberg, Judge Stephen Knight refused to order the bank to reinstate Jones into the same role from which he had been dismissed, the judge did demand that the bank re-hire Jones into a similar role in Hong Kong, which would see him trading equity derivatives.
Jones had previously identified the equity derivatives role as being appropriate for him, while JPMorgan replied that the complexity of the role would “create risk and jeopardy for the bank” if Jones was to take the job.
According to court documents the job would compensate Jones to the tune of between $400K and $600K a year.
JPM has until March 10 of next year to comply with the tribunal’s order. While UK employment judges can order a firm to rehire staff, companies have the power to appeal, and to refuse compliance. Whatever JPMorgan decides, it must still pay Jones his backdated salary and compensation since the time of his dismissal.
Jones’s lawyer, Nick Wilcox, said he was delighted with the ruling.
“The current regulatory environment is one in which banks are under a great deal of pressure to conform to the expectations of regulators,” said Wilcox, a partner at Brahams Dutt Badrick French LLP. “Today’s decision of the Tribunal will give heart to employees that there are steps they can take to overcome the flaws of the regime.”
The tribunal judge said in a July ruling that the tribunal had rejected JPMorgan’s claims that Jones had directly engaged in spoofing. It also found that the bank fired Jones “because of its desire to appease its regulators by showing it was ‘cleaning up its act.'”
The bank is appealing the ruling, but BBG says it’s unlikely that JPM will get out of paying the compensation owed to Jones.
Fri, 12/10/2021 – 05:45
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