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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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September 16, 2019

Two investment banks--Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., Inc. and BMO Capital Markets--pay $2.7 million and and $1.95 million in penalties, respectively, for failing to provide accurate data to the SEC. Broker-dealers must provide what is known as "blue sheet data," information about securities trading information that the SEC uses to monitor and investigate transactions. For a period of seven years, both entities failed to provide data and inaccurately reported information for several millions of transactions. The banks also admitted the SEC's allegations that they did not have proper mechanisms in place to verify the accuracy of their submissions. SEC

September 16, 2019

Heraeus Metals New York LLC and its employee John Lawrence have been ordered by the CFTC to pay a total of $1.03 million for their actions in spoofing orders for precious metals futures.  Between 2017 and 2018, Lawrence placed hundreds of large orders in the COMEX silver and gold futures markets with the intent to cancel the orders before execution.  Lawrence intended that these larger spoofed orders would attract market participants to fill smaller, genuine, orders that he had also placed.  CFTC

September 12, 2019

Ronald Hardy and Dennis Verdosa, both formerly associated with Power Traders Press and My Street Research, were sentenced to, respectively, 10 years and 6 years in prison following their 2018 guilty pleas for their roles in a "boiler room" operation that defrauded investors, many elderly, of $147 million.  Defendants artificially inflated the price and trading volume of stock in certain publicly-traded companies, and misrepresented the advisability of purchasing the stock and its potential profitability to victim investors.  The defendants often themselves held interests in the companies, and profited when their victims lost.   USAO EDNY

September 9, 2019

The CFTC has simultaneously filed a complaint and settled charges against a CFTC registrant, Nathan Harris, who was charged with committing fraud, trading without authorization, and violating speculative position limits in live cattle futures contracts between 2012 and 2014.  Harris has been ordered to pay $1.25 million for causing customer losses of $10.3 million.  CFTC

Catch of the Week — Yukom Communications and Others Face CFTC Claims of Binary Options Fraud

Posted  08/16/19
computerized trading
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission filed suit against five entities and four individuals on August 12, 2019, in the Northern District of Illinois for running a $103 million fraudulent binary options scheme. The defendants, led by Israeli company Yukom Communications Ltd.,which marketed binary options using two websites known as BinaryBook and BigOption. In recent years, the CFTC has targeted fraudulent binary...

August 15, 2019

Kraft Foods Group and Mondalēz Global LLC have been ordered to pay a $16 million penalty for allegedly manipulating the wheat market in the summer of 2011.  Defendants’ orders for wheat futures contracts worth $90 million resulted in false demand signals, and accomplished the actual goal of defendants, which was to narrow the price spread on wheat futures, and lower cash wheat prices.  Defendants were able to earn more than $5 million in profits.  CFTC

July 18, 2019

Swapnil Rege, who worked as a portfolio manager for a hedge fund that operated as a commodity pool operator, was been ordered by the CFTC  and SEC to pay a $100,000 civil penalty and disgorge a $600,000 performance bonus he received as a result of his fraudulent mismarking the valuations of interest rate swaps.  The mismarking, accomplished through various means, artifically inflated the profitability of his trades, earning him a larger performance bonus.  SEC, CFTC

Catch of the Week — Merrill Lynch Commodities Inc.

Posted  06/28/19
MerrillLynchLogoOfBull
Merrill Lynch Commodities Inc (“Merrill”), a commodity trading subsidiary of Bank of America Corporation, agreed on June 25th to two $25 million settlements with both the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) to resolve allegations it conducted deceptive trading practices in United States commodities markets.

DOJ Criminal Violations

This settlement resolved...

June 25, 2019

Merrill Lynch Commodities, Inc. (MLCI) has agreed to pay $25 million for spoofing and manipulating the precious metals market on the Commodity Exchange from 2008 to 2014.  In the non-prosecution agreement signed with DOJ, MLCI admitted that its employees had placed thousands of fraudulent orders to create a false sense of demand and induce other market participants to make purchases or sales.  CFTC, DOJ

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

Posted  05/3/19
By Michael Ronickher
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...
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