Former JPMorgan Forex trader fails to secure bail
Akshay Aiyer, a former JPMorgan FX trader, has failed to secure bail pending appeal from his prison sentence for Forex market manipulation. An order signed by Judge John G. Koeltl of the New York Southern District Court on November 11, 2020, denies Aiyer’s motion for bail pending appeal.
The order, seen by FX News Group, says that the Court has considered all of the arguments of the parties. To the extent not specifically addressed, the arguments are either moot or without merit. Importantly, the Court disagreed with the Government that Aiyer presents a flight risk. However, the Court denied the defendant’s motion based on the fact that he has failed to show that his appeal raises a substantial question of law or fact.
Let’s recall that Mr Aiyer challenged his 8-month prison sentence by arguing that the Court erred in precluding substantial evidence that the conduct in which he engaged had no impact on supply and demand and on price. According to him, this evidence went to his state of mind and would have demonstrated to the jury that he lacked criminal intent to manipulate prices.
If, given the nature of the currency market, the charged conduct was not capable of having an anticompetitive effect, then no rational defendant could have intended to try to manipulate prices to reap little or no personal gain, Mr Aiyer said.
Also, Aiyer has complained about the conditions at the prison facility he has been assigned to. The Bureau of Prisons has assigned Aiyer to Moshannon Valley Correctional Institute (“MVCI”), a privately-run, for-profit prison for non-citizens, located in Moshannon Valley, Pennsylvania.
The defense counsel stressed that the facility is one of a group of 12 such private facilities for non-citizens that have been collectively characterized as having “higher rates of prison violence and reduced access to family and counsel,” “unusually poor” healthcare, overcrowding, and higher rates of solitary confinement, lockdowns, and deaths in custody than comparable BOP institutions.
These arguments, apparently, did not impress Judge Koeltl.