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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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The Latest on Cryptocurrency, Offshore Tax Avoidance and Money-Laundering, and Whistleblowing: A Report from OffshoreAlert Miami 2019

Posted  05/3/19
Hanging Hundred Dollar Bills on Clothes Line
“A diverse collection of the hunters and the hunted.” That’s how the Wall Street Journal described the OffshoreAlert Conference in 2009. The 2019 conference was no different, bringing together those who work in the offshore industry, the government enforcers who try to stop the unscrupulous among them, and the asset recovery professionals who pursue lost funds. Alongside them were whistleblowers and their...

February 15, 2019

Following his conviction at trial for securities fraud and related charges, attorney James M. Schneider of Boca Raton, Florida, was sentenced to seven years in prison and ordered to pay restitution of $19.7 million to over 2,000 investors.  From 2008 to 2013, Schneider and his co-conspirators created approximately 20 shell companies, falsely representing their ownership and control in SEC filings before offering their securities for sale.  The conspirators would then use the shell company shares in pump-and-dump and other manipulation schemes.  USAO SD FL

January 28, 2019

Jiongsheng (“Jim”) Zhao, of Sydney, Australia, a commodities trader at an Australian proprietary trading firm (Trading Firm A), pleaded guilty to spoofing in connection with his fraudulent and deceptive trading activity in the E-mini S&P 500 futures contracts market on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME). Zhao admitted that from approximately July 2012 through March 2016, he placed thousands of orders for E-mini S&P 500 futures contracts on the CME that he intended to cancel before execution to artificially move the price of E-mini S&P 500 futures contracts in a direction that was favorable to Zhao to the detriment of other market participants. Trading Firm A kept a percentage of Zhao’s trading profits, ranging at various times from 20 percent to 50 percent. DOJ

Top Ten Federal Financial Fraud Recoveries of 2018

Posted  01/25/19
Wooden gavel and handcuffs on top of U.S. currency
While 2018 has been a banner year for FCPA, Tax, and SEC & CFTC recoveries, in the bottomless pit of financial frauds that hurt taxpayers, the government, consumers, investors, and the American economy, 2018 brought us additional stunning recoveries for violations related to residential-mortgage backed securities, international economic sanctions, consumer protection, anti-money-laundering, EB-5 investment fraud, and...

December 21, 2018

Randall Gilbertson was sentenced to 12 years in prison following his conviction on numerous counts related to his manipulation of the stock price of Dakota Plains Holdings, Inc., a company he founded, in a reverse merger of Dakota Plains into a publicly traded shell company, Malibu Club Tan.  Gilbertson was also ordered to pay restitution of over $15 million.   USAO MN

October 17, 2018

Two individuals formerly employed by Deutsche Bank, Matthew Connolly and Gavin Campbell Black, have been convicted of conspiracy and wire fraud for their roles in the manipulation of the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR).  Connolly was the supervisor of Deutsche Bank’s Pool Trading Desk in New York; Black was a derivatives trader in London. In 2015, Deutsche Bank paid a $775 million fine for its role in the LIBOR manipulation scheme.  DOJ

October 12, 2018

Former commodity traders Yuchun "Bruce" Mao, Kamaldeep Gandhi, and Krishna Mohan have been charged with commodities fraud and spoofing in a scheme that cost investors on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) over $60 million in losses. Over the course of two years, the three allegedly placed thousands of orders and canceled them before execution in order to drive up demand. When defendant Gandhi moved onto another firm, he allegedly continued placing spoof orders. Along with defendant Mohan, Gandhi has agreed to plead guilty to the charges; no word yet on how Mao will plead. CFTC; DOJ; USAO SDTX

October 11, 2018

Thomas C. Lindstrom, an options trader at Rock Capital Markets, LLC during the relevant time period, was permanently enjoined from trading or registering, in settlement of fraud charges against him.  Lindstrom, who was charged in 2016, engaged in trading activity which had the effect of falsely inflating the value and profitability of his options position, and misrepresented to his employer the quantity of options and the risk associated with his position. Lindstrom purchased thousands of deep out-of-the-money options, which settled each day at a minimum tick value prior to expiration, creating the appearance of millions of dollars in profits. He then purchased more out-of-money options to conceal the losses when the phony profits were wiped out.  CFTC
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