(Kitco News) - (Spokane) -- The famed whistleblower who allegedly told U.S. regulators that gold and silver prices are manipulated by the likes of JPMorgan Chase has no background as a metals trader, according to precious metals research firm CPM Group.
Andrew Maguire, presented in the media and on his current employer’s website as a trader with more than 30 years of experience, actually has no real trading experience, alleged CPM’s managing director Jeff Christian during his presentation Thursday at the Silver Summit in Spokane. Rather, Christian said, Maguire’s background is in vehicle car leasing.
Speaking to a crowd of 60-strong, Christian exposed, at the end of his silver market presentation, what he considers Maguire’s true employment history.
CPM Group’s Jeff Christian addresses the crowd during his presentation Thursday at the Silver Summit.
Christian said he was approached with the information by a source very close to Maguire – his ex-wife. Maguire and his first wife were married for more than 30 years and have two children together.
Kitco News caught up with Christian on the sidelines of the conference to discuss his allegations. According to Christian, Maguire’s ex-wife walked him through a timeline that dates to their marriage in 1972 and in1989 when he moved with his family to Canada and started a vehicle leasing company called Custom Lease Capital Inc.
“It was successful for about four years, until Maguire decided to franchise the company. The company did not succeed and closed within two years. After the failed auto leasing company Maguire took and passed the Canadian Securities Course and started day-trading his own money,” Christian said, recounting what Maguire’s first wife said. “This was toward the tail end of the internet bubble, and according to his former spouse, his performance was ‘dismal,’ ” he added.
Christian said that at first glance the story sounded like that of a scorned ex-wife. However, when he began fact-checking her claims he realized each one was accurate. Christian said she approached him after seeing the CBC documentary, The Secret World of Gold, which aired in April 2013 – it featured Maguire being presented as an experienced trader and is quoted as saying “precious metals are his children.”
Christian said Maguire’s ex-wife decided to come clean with what she considers Maguire’s real past. He explained she contacted him after an Internet search revealed Christian is a longstanding skeptic of the whistleblower’s claim that he had worked in the metals trading industry.
“When he came forward in 2010 – I said this guy doesn’t sound real,” Christian told Kitco News on the sidelines of the conference. “In 2010 GATA and fringe groups in the precious metals markets brought forth a person named Andrew Maguire. They claimed he had decades of experience at Goldman Sachs as a precious metals trader in London. He came out with outrageous claims, but offered no proof of any of them. He sounded like an attention-seeking fraud to us at the time, and we said so,” Christian said.
“No one in the precious metals trading community in London or New York had ever heard of him. Goldman Sachs and J. Aron had no record of ever employing him. The LBMA had no records of him. When major news organizations approached him to write about his allegations of market manipulation and asked him to credentialize himself, to prove he was really a bullion trader at a major bank, he refused every time to provide any evidence he really was a trader,” he added.
The tumultuous past between GATA and Christian dates back to when they debated each other over the topic of silver manipulation during the 2011 Silver Summit. The debate was broadcast by Kitco News. GATA, short for the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee, believes the prices of gold and silver are rigged, whereas Christian firmly disputes this.
GATA brought Maguire to the forefront, stating he had been told first-hand by silver traders at JPMorgan who were bragging about making money by manipulating precious metals markets. GATA’s Bill Murphy later presented Maguire’s evidence to the CFTC in 2010.
Maguire is also featured in the book Why Gold's Inevitable Rise Is the Investor's Safe Haven. In the book he is referenced as a former “Goldman Sachs trader-turned whistleblower.” The book states: “Maguire gained recognition by being the first trader to successfully inform the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) of an orchestrated attack on the silver market moments before it occurred.”
Kitco News contacted Commissioner Bart Chilton of the CFTC to address some of Christian’s allegations. Chilton responded via email that at the time he had no further comments on the silver market or anything related to it.
Andrew Maguire was unavailable for comment as of press time. Maguire’s current employer’s website states: “Andrew is an accomplished veteran of the markets. He has 30 years trading experience, both as an institutional and independent trader, the last 19 years of which have been as a metals specialist.”
In September, the CFTC closed its five-year investigation into the alleged silver price manipulation. In its report the agency said it found no evidence to charge any firm or employees with wrongdoing.
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By Daniela Cambone of Kitco News; firstname.lastname@example.org