Joel Rosenblatt, Malathi Nayak and Javier Blas, 25 March 2021
(Bloomberg) — A former Glencore Plc trader pleaded guilty to manipulating an oil price benchmark, allowing the world’s largest commodities trader to profit from the price swings and enriching himself.Emilio Heredia appeared by video conference on Wednesday in federal court in San Francisco and admitted to a conspiracy in which he directed buy and sell orders that pushed fuel oil prices up and down.
Heredia, 49, faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Justice Department lawyer Matthew Sullivan told the judge that Heredia, who became a naturalized citizen in 2016, could lose his immigration status and be removed from the U.S. But Sullivan also said Heredia had agreed to cooperate with the government as it investigates further.
Glencore has said it is cooperating with authorities.
The investigation that led to Heredia’s plea is the latest legal setback for Glencore, already embroiled in a wide-ranging probe by the U.S. Department of Justice on allegations of bribery and money laundering. The U.K., Switzerland and Brazil are also investigating the company. Authorities around the world are increasingly policing commodities trading and the companies that dominate it, while making a renewed push against market manipulation.