Recent Swap Manipulation Cases
Arent Fox, Les Jacobowitz, 24 February 2021
In recent years, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) filed two actions with facts so shocking the reader is forced to ask, ‘can this be how the industry really functions?’
The Complaints –
The most recent action was filed in February of 2021 in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York (SDNY) against a U.S. dollar swaps trader and managing director of a global investment bank for “engag[ing] in a scheme to deceive and to manipulate the price of U.S. dollar interest rate swap spreads…” 1 The facts of this case are very similar to those of a case filed a little more than a year ago – a bond issuance with a governmental issuer, and the pricing of a related swap through an interdealer broker firm. Both cases illustrate potential flagrant violations of the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA”) and CFTC regulations.
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The Vitol Enforcement Action: Part 1 – Market Manipulation Through Corruption
Thomas Fox, 07 December 2020
Last week the Department of Justice (DOJ) settled a multi-part enforcement action, partly involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), with Vitol Inc. (Vitol), the US subsidiary of Vitol Holding II SA. Vitol agreed to pay a combined $135 million to resolve matters.
Interestingly, also included in the overall settlement was a disgorgement of more than $12.7 million to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in a related matter and a penalty payment to the CFTC of $16 million related to trading activity. The FCPA component was settled via a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) and Criminal Information (Information). Continue reading “Article: The Vitol Enforcement Action: Part 1 – Market Manipulation Through Corruption”
Investigations Newsletter: Russian National Sentenced to Prison for $100 Million Cyber Fraud Conspiracy
Arent Fox, 06 November 2020
On October 30, 2020, a Russian national was sentenced to eight years in prison for his role in a scheme to illicitly obtain and use sensitive personal and financial information online over the course of twelve years, resulting in more than $100 million in estimated losses. In February, the defendant pled guilty to conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud.
The government alleged that, from 2007 through 2019, the defendant and other cybercriminals used “botnets,” or networks of infected computers, to engage in a large-scale scheme to steal and traffic sensitive information, such as personally identifiable information and online banking credentials. Continue reading “Article: Investigations Newsletter: Russian National Sentenced to Prison for $100 Million Cyber Fraud Conspiracy”
Billionaire hedge fund manager Steven A. Cohen is known for owning one of the best private art collections in the world and for his many multimillion-dollar homes. However, he is perhaps best known for having been the subject of one of the government’s most high-profile insider trading investigations.
In 2013 Cohen’s once-powerful firm, SAC Capital Advisors, pleaded guilty to a criminal indictment and paid a record $1.8-billion settlement.
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