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Market Manipulation and Trading Violations

This archive displays posts tagged as relevant to market manipulation and trading violations, including front running, spoofing, straw purchases, naked short selling, and pump-and-dump schemes. You may also be interested in the following pages:

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Top Ten Federal Financial Fraud Recoveries of 2021

Posted  01/21/22
Money with Gavel and Handcuffs
While 2021 may have felt like more of the same as the pandemic dragged on, it marked some new trends in federal financial fraud recoveries. As we predicted last year, the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020 has heralded some large recoveries against banks. The Act also established an Anti-Money Laundering Whistleblower Program, so that whistleblowers who report financial institutions engaging in money laundering –...

December 21, 2021

Financial services firm NatWest Markets Plc has pleaded guilty to charges related to its manipulation of the market for U.S. Treasury futures contracts and for the purchase and sale of U.S. Treasury securities in the secondary (cash) market.  NatWest will pay approximately $35 million in criminal fines, restitution, and forfeiture.  The government charged that NatWest traders engaged in spoofing by placing orders with the intent to cancel those orders before execution in order to artificially push up or down the prevailing market price.  DOJ; USAO CT

October 21, 2021

The CFTC has issued a final award of nearly $200 million to a whistleblower whose information significantly contributed to government investigations resulting in successful enforcement actions by the CFTC, another U.S. federal regulator, and a foreign regulator.  In making the award, the CFTC noted that the information provided by the whistleblower was specific and credible, leading to important, direct evidence of wrongdoing, as well as voluntarily provided and timely, even though the CFTC already had an open investigation at the time of the whistleblower’s report.  The CFTC had first issued a preliminary order denying the individual’s application; the whistleblower requested reconsideration and provided information about how his information was utilized, including in the parallel investigations.  CFTC

August 17, 2021

Investment advisor Murchinson Ltd., together with associated individuals Marc Bistricer and Paul Zogala, will pay restitution, interest, and penalties totaling nearly $9 million to resolve allegations that they caused a hedge fund client to violate Regulation SHO regarding uncovered short sales and other problematic trading practices.  Respondents allegedly provided erroneous order-marking information, thereby causing the hedge fund brokers to mismark the hedge funds’ sales as “long,” and resulting in their failure to borrow or locate shares prior to executing the sales.  SEC

What the SEC can learn from its German peer BaFin

Posted  08/13/21
Building of Wirecard in Germany
The Federal Financial Supervisory Authority, otherwise known as BaFin, is Germany’s version of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), a supervisory body working to ensure the functioning, stability and integrity of the German financial system. BaFin was created following a 2002 merger between Germany’s Federal Banking Supervisory Office (BAKred), the Federal Securities Supervisory Office (BAWe), and...

SEC Chairman Views Cryptocurrency Markets as the “Wild West” and Calls for More Investor Protection

Posted  08/13/21
Cryptocurrency and US Hundred Dollar Bills Scattered Around
During a recent speech discussing the intersection of national security with cryptocurrencies at the Aspen Security Forum, Gary Gensler, the new Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), made clear the SEC will use its broad powers to continue protecting investors from the volatility associated with cryptocurrency markets which he characterized as the “Wild West.”  He also urged Congress to grant...

DOJ Lowers The Boom On COVID-19 Healthcare Scams, Again

Posted  05/28/21
COVID Virus Zoomed In
Hey, fraudsters, did you hear?  There was a global pandemic, so the government pumped trillions of dollars into the economy.  Probably a good time to get a piece of the cut, you ask?  They’ll never find out, right?  So many ways to grift! Well, not so much.  From the start, the cops on the beat, led by the United States Department of Justice, have screamed from the rooftops:  “Don’t do it.  We WILL...

Constantine Cannon Client Receives Maximum Award for Blowing the Whistle on ITG

Posted  05/21/21
silver whistle with Securities Exchange Commission logo
The SEC has made a multi-million-dollar award to a Constantine Cannon client whose original information and assistance led to an enforcement action against the brokerage firm ITG.  The award—30% of the recovery—is the maximum allowed under the SEC Whistleblower Program. The SEC has taken three enforcement actions against ITG in recent years, two of which involve ITG’s dark pool POSIT.  POSIT is an alternate...

How will regulators respond to Bitcoin’s price fluctuations?

Posted  05/18/21
By Sarah “Poppy” Alexander
Bitcoins stacked with stocks rising
The price of Bitcoin—never stable—has become even more erratic in the last month.  From April 17 to May 17, the price fell 26%.  Such a huge drop would be noteworthy in a stock investment.  But in something claiming to be a currency, that kind of instability is normally only seen in times of crisis and hyperinflation.  Coming just as cryptocurrencies are making a play to be considered mainstream, this latest...

Top Ten SEC and CFTC Recoveries of 2020

Posted  01/15/21
top ten list
Despite its many shortcomings, 2020 did bring great news for whistleblowers: record-breaking growth in the CFTC and SEC Whistleblower Programs, as well as massive enforcement actions by both agencies.  In this post, we will detail the Top Ten SEC and CFTC recoveries of 2020 in cases other than FCPA enforcement.  As detailed below, the SEC netted billions of dollars in penalties and restitution from companies accused...
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