JPMorgan "London Whale" trader has lawyers in France, U.S

NEW YORK Thu Aug 23, 2012 1:50pm EDT

JPMorgan Chase & Co's international headquarters are seen on Park Avenue in New York July 13, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Burton

JPMorgan Chase & Co's international headquarters are seen on Park Avenue in New York July 13, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Andrew Burton

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The trader at the center of the criminal investigation surrounding JPMorgan's $5.8 billion trading loss has hired a lawyer in Paris, sources told Reuters on Thursday.

Bruno Iksil, a French citizen and a former London-based trader in JPMorgan Chase & Co's (JPM.N) Chief Investment office, is under scrutiny for trades he made in an illiquid market for credit products that resulted in the bank's losses. Iksil became known in the derivatives market as the "London Whale" for the size of the positions he took.

U.S. federal investigators are looking at whether Iksil and his superiors deliberately mismarked the value of some of the trading positions to try to cover up the losses.

The sources, who did not want to be identified, said Iksil has also hired criminal defense lawyers in New York and Washington, D.C.

Iksil's French lawyer declined to comment. The U.S.-based attorneys did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

(Reporting By Emily Flitter; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)

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