The Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced that the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois entered a consent order of permanent injunction against Edge Financial Technologies, an Illinois firm that provided software development and computer programming services for traders. This ruling resolves a 2018 enforcement action brought in connection with the Division of Enforcement’s Spoofing Task Force.
The order provides that Edge aided and abetted Trader A’s spoofing (bidding or offering with the intent to cancel the bid or offer before execution) and use of a manipulative and deceptive scheme involving the E-mini S&P futures contract from at least January 30, 2013, through October 30, 2013. Edge enabled Trader A’s violations by programming a custom software application that helped send false supply and demand signals for E-mini S&P futures contracts and induced other market participants to react.
The court’s permanent injunction prohibits Edge from providing any computer programming services in connection with trading in CFTC-regulated markets for a period of two years. Further, it orders disgorgement of $24,200 and a civil monetary penalty of $48,400, for a total of $72,600 in monetary relief.
“When technology is intended to inject false information into the market, the CFTC will respond to protect market participants and the integrity of the markets we regulate. We cannot allow companies to profit from creating programs intended to help traders spoof and manipulate,” said Division of Enforcement Director James McDonald in a statement. “Establishing that entities can be held civilly liable for aiding and abetting such illegal conduct, as charged in this case of first impression, strengthens the CFTC’s enforcement mission. We will not hesitate to bring charges against entities and individuals for similar conduct in the future.”