This isn’t the end of the manipulation. These are simply six little fish and three bank slaps on the wrist as the bigger suppression scheme continues unabated…
On Monday morning we reported that a number of traders – currently or formerly employed by UBS, HSBC and Deutsche Bank (as usual, no
JPMorgan US banks were touched) – would be perp-walked and charged in an unprecedented cross-agency crackdown between the CFTC, DOJ and FBI seeking to punish spoofers of futures. This was confirmed moments ago by a CFTC press release which announced criminal and civil enforcement actions against three banks and six individuals involved in commodities fraud and spoofing schemes.
Here is what got far less publicity: it wasn’t just any futures that were spoofed – all the banks and traders busted were charged for spoofing the precious metals market, i.e. gold and silver. We bring this up because there are still the occasional idiots out there who say gold and silver were never manipulated.
The banks in question, and their penalties:
Deutsche Bank will pay a $30 million civil monetary penalty and undertake remedial relief. The Orders finds that “from at least February 2008 and continuing through at least September 2014, DB AG, by and through certain precious metals traders (Traders), engaged in a scheme to manipulate the price of precious metals futures contracts by utilizing a variety of manual spoofing techniques with respect to precious metals futures contracts traded on the Commodity Exchange, Inc. (COMEX), and by trading in a manner to trigger customer stop-loss orders.”
UBS will pay a $15 million civil monetary penalty and undertake remedial relief. The Order finds that from “January 2008 through at least December 2013, UBS, by and through the acts of certain precious metals traders on the spot desk (Traders), attempted to manipulate the price of precious metals futures contracts by utilizing a variety of manual spoofing techniques with respect to precious metals futures contracts traded on the Commodity Exchange, Inc. (COMEX), including gold and silver, and by trading in a manner to trigger customer stop-loss orders.”
HSBC will pay a civil monetary penalty of $1.6 million, and cease and desist from violating the Commodity Exchange Act’s prohibition against spoofing, after an Order found HSBC engaged in numerous acts of “spoofing with respect to certain futures products in gold and other precious metals traded on the Commodity Exchange, Inc. (COMEX). The Order finds that HSBC engaged in this activity through one of its traders based in HSBC’s New York office.”
For those keeping count, this is roughly the 4th time HSBC has been found guilty of manipulating markets after the bank nearly lost its charter and swore it would never manipulate markets again.
* * *
And here are the 6 traders who spoof and otherwise manipulated the precious metals market:
- Krishna Mohan
The CFTC today announced the filing of a federal court enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas against Krishna Mohan of New York City, New York, charging him with spoofing (bidding or offering with the intent to cancel before execution) and engaging in a manipulative and deceptive scheme in the E-mini Dow ($5) futures contract market on the Chicago Board of Trade and the E-mini NASDAQ 100 futures contract market on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
- Jitesh Thakkar & Edge Financial Technologies
The CFTC today announced the filing of a federal court enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, charging Jitesh Thakkar of Naperville, Illinois, and his company, Edge Financial Technologies, Inc. (Edge), with aiding and abetting spoofing and a manipulative and deceptive scheme in the E-mini S&P futures contract market on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (E-mini S&P).
- Jiongsheng Zhao
The CFTC today announced the filing of a federal court enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against Defendant Jiongsheng Zhao, of Australia, charging him with spoofing and engaging in a manipulative and deceptive scheme in the E-mini S&P 500 futures contract market on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME).
- James Vorley & Cedric Chanu
The CFTC announced the filing of a civil enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against James Vorley, a U.K. resident, and Cedric Chanu, a United Arab Emirates resident, charging them with spoofing and engaging in a manipulative and deceptive scheme in the precious metals futures markets.
Finally, our old friend, Andre Flotron, formerly of UBS, who as we reported on several prior occasions was arrested and charged with gold-rigging after a lengthy career of doing just that at the largest Swiss bank:
The CFTC announced the filing of a civil enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut against Andre Flotron, of Switzerland, charging him with engaging in a manipulative and deceptive scheme and spoofing in the precious metals futures markets on a registered entity.
Meanwhile, the manipulation by the Fed and spoofing by HFTs of the S&P500 continues apace, and will do so as long as the market keeps levitating because it is only when stocks crash, that the fingerpointing begins.
Editor’s Note: It’s always the little fish that go down. The big fish and the blatant manipulation by the ESF and the Fed continue unabated. That kind of precious metals price suppression will continue until the cartel loses control of the markets. For more information on the manipulation, see our spoofing, market manipulation, bullion banking cartel, and precious metals price suppression tags for pages and pages of information on the rigging of the markets. Finally, despite arrests and fines, there are those who still deny manipulation. One day the manipulation will fail. Stack accordingly…
from Zero Hedge
In a shocking development – shocking because as everyone obviously knows market are never rigged or manipulated – late on Friday Reuters reported that the CFTC was set to announce it has fined European lenders UBS, HSBC and Deutsche Bank millions of dollars each for “spoofing” and manipulation in the U.S. futures market.
The enforcement action by the U.S. derivatives regulator was said to be the result of a multi-agency investigation that also involved the Department of Justice and the FBI – the first of its kind for the CFTC.
Reuters also reported that the fines for UBS and Deutsche Bank would be north of ten million, while the fine for HSBC will be slightly less than that. Spoofing, as a reminder, involves placing bids to buy or offers to sell futures contracts with the intent to cancel them before execution. By creating an illusion of demand, spoofers can influence prices to benefit their market positions. Spoofing is what Navinder Sarao was criminally accused of doing when he singlehandedly launched the May 2010 flash crash, for which he is now imprisoned.
And yes, spoofing is a criminal offense under a provision implemented as part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform.
* * *
Following the Reuters report, many asked why Sarao was arrested and jailed, while major banks caught spoofing and manipulating futures will get away with paying a fine that is a tiny fraction of how much they made from rigging markets in the first place.
Well, it appears that someone else is going to jail after all, because as Reuters followed up this morning, US authorities were set to arrest several people on Monday as part of the spoofing and manipulation probe. The individuals who are set to be perp walked, were previously employed as traders by UBS, Deutsche Bank and HSBC, and will be charged as part of the multi-agency probe,
Last August, a U.S. appeals court upheld the conviction of former New Jersey-based high-speed trader Michael Coscia who was the first individual to be criminally prosecuted for spoofing in the US, aside from Sarao of course.
This is the first time the CFTC, DOJ and FBI have worked together to bring both criminal and civil charges against multiple companies and individuals, sources said.
As Reuters adds, “the bank investigations have been going on for more than a year, but the CFTC has pursued the charges against the traders as part of a more recent effort led by the agency’s head of enforcement, James McDonald, to hold individual employees accountable for corporate wrongdoing, two of the sources said.”
McDonald, a former prosecutor in the Southern District of New York who was appointed to the CFTC role in March, has said he aims to achieve that by encouraging companies and staff to report their own wrongdoing and cooperate with investigators in return for more lenient penalties.
Once the names of market riggers are revealed we will promptly follow up, although we are sad to advise readers that the biggest manipulator of all will sadly be spared.