CFTC charges former MF Global Broker with price manipulation

CFTC charges former MF Global Broker with price manipulation

On March 14, the CFTC announced that it was charging former MF Global broker Joseph F. Welsh III with attempted manipulation of palladium and platinum futures contracts prices traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange. According to the complaint, Welsh engaged in price manipulation on at least 12 different occasions, from June 2006 through May 2008.

According to the complaint, Welsh attempted to manipulate the market through a tactic called “banging the close.” Welsh received market-on-close orders to buy palladium and platinum futures contracts from Christopher Pia, a former portfolio manager of Moore Capital Management, LLC. As Welsh knew that Pia wanted to buy at high prices, Welsh devised and used a trading strategy that maximized the price impact by trading during two-minute closing periods of the palladium and platinum futures contracts market, according to the CFTC complaint.

Welsh also routinely withheld entering the market-on-close buy orders until only a few seconds remained in the Closing Periods, executing the orders within seconds of trading’s close.

The CFTC seeks civil monetary penalties, trading and registration bans, and an injunction against further violations of the federal commodities law. Last year, the Commission ordered a filing and settling against Pia, and has also settled actions against Moore Capital Management LLC’s successor.

Read more about the enforcement action.

Photo credit: Chilli media

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About The Author


Felix Shipkevich

Felix Shipkevich

Mr. Shipkevich’s practice focuses on regulatory, transactional, and enforcement matters in the fields of futures, commodities, and derivatives. He works with Futures Commission Merchants (FCMs), Retail Forex Exchange Dealers (RFEDs), Introducing Brokers (IBs), Commodity Pool Operators (CPOs), Commodity Trading Advisors (CTAs), Swap Dealers (SDs), Swap Execution Facilities (SEFs), and domestic and offshore hedge funds. Mr. Shipkevich guides clients on procedures related to registration with the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the National Futures Association (NFA), as well as domestic and international regulators in local jurisdictions. Mr. Shipkevich prepares and helps implement compliance, anti-money laundering (AML), and Electronic Trading Systems (ETS) procedures for clients in the commodities and derivatives fields.

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  1. Gold JUST went on a spike - Page 2 - Precious Metals Forum - [...] Well, the platinum group metals can be manipulated so much easier since their market is tiny compared to gold ...

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