'London Whale' boss arrested but pledges to fight extradition to US

The supervisor of the JPMorgan trader nicknamed the London Whale was arrested in Spain yesterday in the latest development in the investigation into how the UK-based trading team at the US bank lost more than $6bn (£4bn).

Javier Martin-Artajo, a Spanish citizen, was the supervisor of Bruno Iksil, the man given his "whale" nickname due to the vast size of his trades and ability to move the market.

US authorities issued a warrant for his arrest nearly two weeks ago, and that of his former colleague Julien Grout last Wednesday on charges including conspiracy, wire fraud and faking accounts.

The prosecutors, led by the US attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, allege that the two men hid hundreds of millions of dollars of losses.

Mr Iksil, who was also known as Voldemort among traders, has avoided prosecution and is thought to be helping Mr Bharara's team gather evidence.

Mr Grout, a Frenchman, is yet to be arrested and is thought to have been junior to Mr Iksil in the bank.

The US criminal charges claim that London traders in the bank's chief investment office were policed by one employee who gave the trading team extremely wide leeway when they valued their trading bets. This violated JPMorgan's rules.

Spanish police said: "The arrested person is presumed responsible for manipulating and inflating the value of positions in the synthetic credit portfolio of his firm with the aim of achieving specific objectives of daily losses and gains." Mr Martin-Artajo was released from police custody yesterday after telling a Madrid court he opposed attempts by the US to extradite him. Both he and Mr Grout face possible 20-year jail sentences if convicted.

Winners and losers

"The stupidest and most embarrassing situation I have ever been part of" was how JPMorgan chief Jamie Dimon described the London Whale scandal at his bank. Well might he have been embarrassed.

When media reports of billions of dollars of losses emerged out of its supposedly risk-hedging chief investment office, Mr Dimon dismissed the stories as "a tempest in a teapot". Soon, though, estimates of the losses rocketed and he was forced to backpedal.

The hedge fund manager Boaz Weinstein was among investors who made hundreds of millions of dollars trading against Mr Iksil. He is said to have spotted JPMorgan's mess-up from his own prior experience at Deutsche Bank running a trade that went horribly wrong.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Mortgage Advisor - OTE £95,000

£40000 - £95000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

competitive: SThree: Are you passionate about sales?Do you have a keen interes...

Recruitment Genius: Loan Adviser - OTE £30,000

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Assistant / Buyer

£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy