The CFTC Tackled Historically Significant Commodities Fraud and Manipulation in 2019


The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (“CFTC”) issued an annual report on Monday November 25, 2019 outlining key metrics for the Commission’s enforcement actions over the past year.  See CFTC 2019 Annual Report.  

The report explained that the CFTC’s priorities for the year were preserving market integrity, protecting customers, promoting individual accountability, and increasing coordination with other regulators and criminal authorities.  The Commission carried out these priorities by bringing several of the most prominent cases in the CFTC’s history and obtaining more than $1.3 billion in monetary relief.  For example, the Commission brought a large digital asset case against a Bitcoin trading and investment company for fraudulently obtaining and misappropriating at least 22,858.822 Bitcoin—worth approximately $147 million at the time—from more than 1,000 customers.  The Commission also filed an action against three former traders on J.P. Morgan’s precious metals desk who were accused of placing orders they did not intend to execute in an effort to create liquidity and drive prices toward orders they did want to execute on the opposite side of the market.

Upon closing out a successful year of preserving market integrity, protecting consumers, and deterring misconduct, newly appointed Chairman, Heath Tarbert, stated that going forward the CFTC intends to put a special emphasis on protecting the United States’ agricultural markets from manipulation and abuse.
 

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Megan Sullivan is a Partner in the New York office of Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP.

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