JPMorgan "Whale" supervisor's extradition hearing postponed

Fri Nov 8, 2013 6:15am EST
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By Sarah White

MADRID (Reuters) - A Spanish court postponed Friday's hearing with an ex-JPMorgan Chase employee at the heart of the bank's "London Whale" trading scandal, delaying proceedings over a U.S. extradition request because of a scheduling conflict.

Spaniard Javier Martin-Artajo, indicted by a U.S. grand jury in September in relation to a $6.2 billion trading loss at JPMorgan, had been due to make a formal declaration on whether he would agree to be extradited.

His lawyers could not attend the hearing at Spain's High Court and had requested it be postponed, a court source said, adding that the hearing is now scheduled for November 15.

Martin-Artajo's legal team, Madrid firm Cortes Abogados and London-based lawyer Lista Cannon, of Norton Rose Fulbright, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Last year's trading losses knocked the reputation of America's biggest bank and has so far cost JPMorgan $920 million in penalties from U.S. and British regulators. It still faces criminal investigations.

Martin-Artajo handed himself in to Madrid police at the end of August after U.S. authorities issued an arrest warrant.

Along with a junior colleague, Frenchman Julien Grout, he has been accused of helping to hide hundreds of millions of dollars of trading losses by marking positions in a credit derivatives portfolio at inflated prices while working in JPMorgan's chief investment office in London.

Martin-Artajo was the supervisor of Bruno Iksil, another ex-JPMorgan trader nicknamed the "London Whale" for his large bets on derivatives markets. Iksil has not been charged with any wrongdoing and is cooperating with prosecutors.   Continued...

U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara points to a chart during a news conference announcing the unsealing of charges against two derivative traders Javier Martin-Artajo and Julien Grout in New York August 14, 2013. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton