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Government Enforcement Exposed - "The GEE"
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05 Jun 2015 CFTC and CME Collaborate to Chase Alleged Spoofers

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) ongoing use of its new anti-spoofing authority (Section 4c(a)(5)(C) of the Commodity Exchange Act) demonstrates a heightened awareness by exchanges of efforts by market participants to rapidly enter and cancel trades in order to manipulate market prices. In May 2015, the CFTC filed a complaint (Complaint) in the Southern District of New York against two traders who allegedly engaged in spoofing by layering trades in the Gold and Silver futures on the Commodity Exchange, Inc. (COMEX). The case is noteworthy for several reasons.   The Complaint alleges that defendants Heet Khara and Nasim Salim “entered orders or layered multiple orders to encourage market participants to trade opposite … smaller orders on the opposite side of the book.”  Once the…

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17 Apr 2015 What you need to know about United States of America v. Michael Coscia

This week, we have posted about two commodity enforcement trends (here and here). Yesterday, Judge Harry D. Leinenweber of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois issued his opinion on the defendant’s motion to dismiss in the matter of the United States of America v. Michael Coscia, Case No. 14 CR 551. The decision is not remarkable, insofar as it is a motion to dismiss that takes the allegations of the criminal indictment as true, but it is instructive. Following are a few of the pertinent highlights.   The Commodity Exchange Act’s Anti-Spoofing Provision is not void for vagueness.  Coscia had argued that 7 U.S.C. §§ 6(c)(a)(5)(C) and 13(a)(2) were void, under the Due Process Clause of the United States Constitution,…

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13 Apr 2015 Recent Enforcement Trends in the Commodity Markets (Part 1)

Last fall, Aitan Goelman – the Director of Enforcement for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (Commission) – made two interesting points that appear to be indicative of enforcement trends. Specifically, he stated that: (i) real deterrent of market manipulation requires putting people in jail and (ii) the CFTC is going to start trying cases before administrative law judges. Jean Eaglesham, “CFTC Turns Toward Administrative Judges,” The Wall Street Journal (Nov. 9, 2014).   At a minimum, these two points demonstrate the beat cop’s resolve to triage all available resources in order to ensure the sanctity of the swaps and futures markets. At the outside, they define a troubling scenario in which administrative law judges with no trading experience will determine whether complex trading was or…

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15 Aug 2014 Regulators And Prosecutors Discuss Securities and Commodities Enforcement Priorities

  In late July, we attended a seminar at which David Glockner, the new Director of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Chicago Regional Office, Scott Williamson, a Deputy Regional Counsel in the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Chicago Office, and Cliff Histed, an Assistant United States Attorney in the newly-formed Securities and Commodities Fraud Section in Chicago spoke. The three men shared their views on enforcement trends in the securities and commodities industry. It was an insightful discussion, from which we have distilled a few of the nuggets of wisdom they shared.   SEC Enforcement Priorities   To begin with, Mr. Glockner shared the SEC’s enforcement priorities. He emphasized (no surprise here) that the SEC’s traditional mission of investor protection remains paramount. Next, he alerted the…

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