Two metals traders from Fairfield County charged in spoofing scam
Feb 01, 2018, 00:56
Deutsche Bank, UBS and HSBC will collectively pay almost $47 million to settle civil regulatory charges some of their traders engaged in spoofing in precious metals.
David Liew, a Deutsche Bank trader, pleaded guilty in June and has reportedly agreed to cooperate with prosecutors. They paid a total of $46.6 million in fines.
A UBS spokesman noted that the bank "cooperated fully in the investigation, and has long since remediated the conduct", while a spokesperson for Deutsche Bank said the bank provided "substantial and proactive cooperation with the government's investigation and has enhanced controls and surveillance to help ensure that the underlying conduct does not occur in the future". Also facing federal charges is Andre Flotron, 53, a Swiss national now living in Wayne, N.J. and a former commodities trader at the Stamford office of UBS.
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According to the justice department, the traders ranging in age from 30 to 55, face accusations of manipulating various futures markets, including S&P index and precious metals, by placing hundreds, in some cases thousands, of "spoof" orders to induce other market participants to trade at prices, quantities or times they otherwise would not have traded.
Spoofing, which is a criminal offence under the 2010 Dodd- Frank financial reform law, is said to have had the effect of artificially inflating or deflating prices of futures contracts traded on exchanges in Chicago. So-called high frequency trading, in which traders use computers to rapidly trade in and out of positions, has been a focus of investigators. "The technological developments that enabled electronic and algorithmic trading have created new opportunities in our markets". Charges in CT against Andre Flotron, 53, of Switzerland, were related to his role as a UBS precious metals trader. He was sentenced to three years in prison in 2016 for spoofing and commodities fraud, and his conviction was upheld on appeal last year. In August, a federal appeals court upheld the conviction of the first US trader to face prison time for manipulating futures prices using spoofing tactics.
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