Department of Justice broadens aim on spoofing enforcement

May 18, 2018
Westlaw

Jeffrey A. Brown, Thomas Cordova, Tanner Kroeger and Steven Pellechi of Dechert LLP examine the Justice Department's enhanced scrutiny of spoofing cases.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), in January,announced a wave of coordinated spoofing cases that the Acting Assistant Attorney General, John P. Cronan, describedas the "largest futures market criminal enforcement action in Department history."

The enforcement action consisted of eight civil actions filed by the CFTC and six criminal cases brought by the DOJ. On April 25, the first of those criminal cases to go to trial, U.S. v. Flotron, ended in an acquittal for defendant AndreFlotron.

However, there is little reason to believe the acquittal will deter prosecutors from bringing spoofing actions movingforward, as the DOJ has recently been vocal about their "unwavering … commitment to protecting the integrity of ourfinancial markets," while at the same time demonstrating a willingness to bring more spoofing cases with less direct— some would say weaker — evidence.

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