Andrew Maguire (whistleblower)
Andrew Maguire is an independent bullion trader and a whistleblower. He alleged to United States regulators that fraud had been committed, and that prices in the international gold and silver markets had been manipulated. Maguire and his wife were allegedly injured in a hit-and-run accident a day after he was identified as the source of the allegations. Since that time, Maguire has claimed that he has evidence that can prove his allegations, and eventually collaborated on an article with journalist William D. Cohan which has yet to be published. Cohan has stated that Maguire himself has inhibited the publication of the article for mysterious reasons.
Because no regulatory or legal action has ever been taken as a result of information obtained from Maguire, no articles have been published detailing the evidence that Maguire has claimed to possess, and because there is a conspicuous lack of evidence that the alleged hit-and-run ever occurred, his status as a whistleblower is subject to debate.
Andrew Maguire has 40 years of experience as a trader. On March 29, 2010, he was interviewed on the radio with Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee (GATA) board member Adrian Douglas. He went public in April 2010 with assertions of market manipulation by JPMorgan Chase and HSBC of the gold and silver markets, prompting a number of lawsuits, including a class action lawsuit. Maguire said "JPMorgan acts as an agent for the Federal Reserve; they act to halt the rise of gold and silver against the US dollar. JPMorgan is insulated from potential losses (on their short positions) by the Fed and/or the U.S. taxpayer." "No one at JPMorgan is familiar with Andrew Maguire," said Brian Marchiony, a JPMorgan spokesman. HSBC declined to comment. Maguire was not a former Goldman Sachs trader as has often been reported although he did work briefly for J Aron & Co. which was acquired by Goldman Sachs in 1981.
In an interview with CBC aired in April 2013 Andrew Maguire described how mysterious traders, allegedly working for bullion banks JPMorgan and to a lesser extent HSBC, waited for most of the major markets from Shanghai to London to be closed then concentrated their dealing on COMEX. He explained how traders were trading virtual or electronic silver anonymously using algorithmic trading systems "moving in and out of the futures markets in the blink of an eye. Four hundred contracts a second, each contract represents 5,000 troy ounces of silver." Maguire described a sudden and massive wave of selling of up to 45,000 contracts which drove the price of silver down. "Investors big and small try to cut their losses and sell as the price drops." People who had invested heavily lost everything. Then the mysterious seller just as suddenly started buying the electronic silver again. The price of silver soared as did profits for the seller. 45,000 contracts with a profit of $80,000 per contract totaled $3,600,000,000 for the mystery seller.
According to Maguire, the precious metals markets trade "pretty much in tandem", but because the silver market is so much smaller, it is harder to disguise one's activities and therefore easier to figure out who is behind a manipulative event. After Bear Stearns and their short silver positions were acquired by JPMorgan, manipulative events in the silver market became more frequent. Maguire decided to inform the CFTC. He contacted commissioner Bart Chilton, who had Eliud Ramirez, a senior investigator from the CFTC's enforcement division, get in touch with Maguire. Maguire explained the manipulations in great detail, both over the phone in an hour-long interview and afterward, in a series of e-mails with screen shots.
Maguire then predicted a manipulative event in the silver market and gave detailed information in an e-mail to the CFTC about what to expect, sending it on February 3, 2010, two days prior to the event. The event transpired exactly as Maguire predicted. While the event was taking place, Maguire sent e-mails in real time, pointing out certain details because the CFTC enforcement seemed not to know what to look for or how to interpret the data.
GATA chairman Bill Murphy gave a detailed account of Maguire's allegations to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), stating how "JP Morgan Chase signals to the market its intention to take down the precious metals. Traders recognize these signals and make money shorting the metals alongside JPMorgan. [He] explained how there are routine market manipulations at the time of option expiry, non-farm payroll data releases, and COMEX contract rollover, as well as the ad hoc events."
In September 2014, it was revealed that business journalist William D. Cohen had collaborated with Maguire to write an article detailing Maguire's account of the alleged fraud. The article was not accepted for publication at several mainstream media outlets, and Cohan proposed publication of the article at alternative financial news outlet Zero Hedge. Cohan has stated that at some point in this process, Maguire decided that he no longer wished for the article to be published and demanded that Cohan remove various details from the article, including the names of regulatory agencies that Maguire had approached and quotes from important sources. Shortly after, Cohan was quoted as saying that Maguire's efforts to hinder the publication of the article had "reached the point of ridiculousness".
Maguire and his wife were allegedly injured in London in a hit-and-run accident on March 26, 2010, the day after Maguire's name came to light during a CFTC hearing on limiting gold and silver positions held by large market participants in order to prevent manipulation. The driver of the other vehicle was allegedly apprehended after a police chase, both on the ground and from the air in helicopters, but his name has not been released. Maguire said, "We got hit in the side at full acceleration and tried to corral the cars in a gas station, including the guy who hit us with a commercial vehicle." The assailant allegedly then sped away, hitting at least two more cars.
Despite the dramatic nature of this account, there appear to be no original sources in the news media reporting on the incident. It was initially described in a post to the website of the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee, an organization with whom Maguire is affiliated. This was followed by two opinion articles in the US press which appear to be based on the GATA account and which cite no other sources. Of particular note is that there are no source articles substantiating the event anywhere in the news media of the United Kingdom, where the incident is alleged to have occurred. This has led to speculation that Maguire himself fabricated or exaggerated the incident in order to lend credibility to his status as a whistleblower.
Ongoing criminal investigation
The United States Department of Justice's Antitrust Division and the CFTC are conducting civil and criminal probes steming from a New York Post article concerning Maguire's allegations. Following publication of the article, JPMorgan released a statement that they are not under investigation by the Department of Justice or the CFTC. The CFTC has interviewed 32 people and reviewed 40,000 documents, but as of May 2011, no action has been taken. On February 24, 2011, in less than an hour, the price of silver fell $1.50 per ounce before recovering. Another London-based trader, Richard Guthrie, wrote to Chilton to complain about the event, asking “How many investors lost money and positions to the financial benefit of an elite few?” Chilton believes violations of the law have taken place and wants to see prosecutions move forward, but the five-member commission has yet to act.
- Gold as an investment
- Regulatory capture
- Silver as an investment
- Inside Job – Academy Award-winning documentary about "the systemic corruption of the United States by the financial services industry and the consequences of that systemic corruption"
- List of whistleblowers
- "Manipulating Gold and Silver: A Criminal Naked Short Position that Could Wreck the Economy" DeepCapture.com (April 2, 2010). Retrieved May 4, 2011
- Michael Gray, "Ex-Goldman trader blows whistle on silver and gold manipulation by JPMorgan, HSBC" New York Post (April 11, 2010). Retrieved May 5, 2011
- "Andrew Maguire Re-Emerges: Ex-Goldman Trader Exposes JPMorgan, HSBC In Latest Silver Price Manipulation Class Action Lawsuit" Zero Hedge (November 9, 2010). Retrieved May 6, 2011
- Eric Nalven class action lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase and HSBC (PDF) The New York Times (November 2, 2010). Retrieved May 7, 2011
- Andrew Maguire, "A Formal Response from Andrew Maguire" Silver Doctors (October 29, 2013). Retrieved October 29, 2013
- McKenna, Brian; MacDonald, Ann-Marie (21 April 2013). "The Secret World Of Gold". CBC.
- Eric King, Interview with Andrew Maguire and GATA board member Adrian Douglas King World News (March 30, 2010). Retrieved May 6, 2011
- Lawrence Williams, "GATA's evidence of silver and gold manipulation at CFTC hearing" Mineweb (March 26, 2010). Retrieved May 11, 2011
- Silver prices are easy to manipulate: NIA International Business Times (April 5, 2010). Retrieved May 5, 2011
- E-mail exchange between Maguire and the CFTC King World News (January 26, 2010 - February 9, 2010). Retrieved May 4, 2011
- Silver Price Manipulation Investigation Focused On JPMorgan Chase TheStreet.com (May 11, 2010). Retrieved May 5, 2011
- Craig Hemke, "Time to Take Action" TF Metals Report (September 24, 2014). Retrieved October 1, 2014
- Dave Janda, "Sunday, September 28, 2014" Operation Freedom (September 28, 2014). Retrieved October 1, 2014
- Craig Hemke, "Maguire/NN-L Respond To Cohan Interview" TF Metals Report (September 30, 2014). Retrieved October 1, 2014
- William D. Cohan, "A Conspiracy With a Silver Lining" The New York Times (March 2, 2011). Retrieved May 7, 2011
- "Andrew McGuire, whistle-blower on market manipulation, injured in hit-and-run accident" Golden State Mint (March 27, 2010). Retrieved May 7, 2011
- Michael Gray, "JPMorgan 'chase' story in UK" New York Post (March 29, 2010). Retrieved May 5, 2011
- Chris Powell, "CFTC whistleblower injured in London hit-and-run" Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee (March 27, 2010). Retrieved April 22, 2014
- Michael Gray, "Feds probing JPMorgan trades in silver pit" New York Post (May 9, 2010). Retrieved May 5, 2011
- Charlie Rose, Interview with filmmaker Charles Ferguson YouTube video (February 25, 2011). Retrieved March 14, 2011