On October 9, 2018, a former precious metals trader at an unnamed United States-based bank (“Bank”) pleaded guilty to charges of commodities fraud and spoofing conspiracy in connection with his participation in deceptive trading activity in the precious metals futures markets.  The defendant, John Edmonds, said that from approximately 2009 through 2015, he conspired with other precious metals traders to manipulate the markets for gold, silver, platinum, and palladium futures.  Edmonds said that he did so by placing “spoof orders” for precious metals futures contracts—intending to cancel those orders before execution—in order to move the market in a favorable direction.

Additionally, on November 6, 2018, two other former commodities traders from New York- and Chicago-based institutions pleaded guilty in connection with their roles in a similar scheme.  Kamaldeep Gandhi and Krishna Mohan said that, from March 2012 to March 2014, they conspired with others to place thousands of spoof orders in E-Mini S&P 500 and E‑Mini NASDAQ 100 futures contracts traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and E-Mini Dow futures contracts traded on the Chicago Board of Trade.  The United States has calculated that the scheme resulted in market losses of over $61.3 million.

United States v. Edmonds, No. 18-cr-239 (D. Conn.)

DOJ Press Release

United States v. Gandhi, 18-cr-609 (S.D. Tex.)

United States v. Mohan, 18-cr-610 (S.D. Tex.)

DOJ Press Release