Deutsche Bank hit with spoofing fine by US Justice Department

Reuters

Separately UBS, HSBC and Deutsche Bank will pay a total of $46.6m (£33m) to settle spoofing charges against them. 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.

Federal prosecutors charged two CT men with "spoofing" phantom orders in commodities markets with the intent of reaping profits as other traders reacted to what they thought were legitimate orders, as part of a larger investigation resulting of UBS, HSBC and Deutsche Bank resulting in fines of almost $47 million against the companies. The two Fairfield County residents, Edward Bases of New Canaan and John Pacilio of Fairfield, were identified as precious metals traders at unnamed global financial institutions and were charged with spoofing phantom orders in the commodities market in order to profit on what other traders assumed were legitimate orders.

A rare charge: Only three people had previously ever been charged with spoofing.

James McDonald, the CFTC's Director of Enforcement, stated: "As alleged here, over just a multi-week period, the Defendant placed tens of thousands of spoof orders in some of our most heavily traded markets".

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"Spoofing" involves traders placing and then abort trades to manipulate prices. The CFTC said in accepting HSBC's settlement, it "recognizes the bank's cooperation during the Division of Enforcement's investigation of this matter".

HSBC is to pay $1.6m. The orders create the illusion of demand, which distorts prices in a way that benefits the trader's positions. The Deutsche Bank trader David Liew pleaded guilty on June and has cooperated with investigators since.

The Justice Department said it had charged James Vorley of the United Kingdom, France's Cedric Chanu, Jiongsheng Zhao of Australia and NY resident Krishna Mohan with fraud and spoofing offenses.

Mr. Flotron's lawyer, Marc Mukasey, said the new case "is an especially enormous waste of taxpayers' money because the CFTC knows darn well that there is a pending criminal matter, that Mr. Flotron has always been retired from the business, and that he lives in Switzerland".

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