DOJ insists former JPMorgan FX trader presents flight risk
The United States authorities have opposed an attempt by former JPMorgan FX trader to secure bail pending appeal from his prison sentence. The Department of Justice (DOJ) insists that Akshay Aiyer, who got a prison sentence for FX market manipulation, has failed to show he does not present flight risk.
As FX News Group has reported, Akshay Aiyer has indicated he will appeal from the sentence. He has also sought bail pending appeal.
On October 21, 2020, DOJ submitted a memorandum of law in opposition to Aiyer’s motion for bail. A key argument raised by DOJ is that the defendant has not met his burden to demonstrate that he is not a flight risk.
The DOJ notes three reasons for this claim. First, the defendant is not a United States citizen and has demonstrated substantial lifelong ties with family in India. Second, Defendant has access to significant financial resources. Third, Defendant’s expressed concerns about his prison placement highlight his potential motivation to flee the country to avoid any term of imprisonment.
Although Aiyer does not face a lengthy prison sentence, he has repeatedly emphasized his fears of being incarcerated – specifically, his belief that he would suffer harsher conditions at a privately run facility, and his belief that, at any institution, he would be at increased risk of becoming severely ill with COVID-19.
According to the US authorities, these fears demonstrate the defendant’s heightened motivation to flee the United States to India where he has citizenship and extended family in order to avoid a prison sentence resulting from his conviction. In light of the defendant’s strong ties to India, financial resources, and his expressed fear of any prison sentence, there is not clear and convincing evidence to support his contention that he would not be a flight risk if released pending appeal.
Let’s recall that, on November 20, 2019, after a three-week trial, the jury returned a guilty verdict against Aiyer for one count of conspiracy in restraint of trade in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1. The defendant moved for judgment of acquittal and, in the alternative, for a new trial, raising numerous objections that were all denied by the Court on July 6, 2020.
On September 17, 2020, the Court imposed an eight-month term of imprisonment, two years of supervised release, and a $150,000 fine, and ordered Defendant to surrender on December 4, 2020.