CFTC close to resolving case against software developer charged with aiding spoofing scheme

Maria Nikolova

The regulator and Jitesh Thakkar are close to resolving the case and have agreed on proposed settlement terms.

The action launched by the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) against Jitesh Thakkar and Edge Financial Technologies, charged with aiding and abetting a spoofing scheme operated by futures trader Navinder Sarao, may be close to a conclusion. This is indicated by documents filed with the Illinois Northern District Court on January 21, 2020.

The parties submitted a motion to stay with the Court, thereby requesting to suspend for a period of three months all fact and expert discovery deadlines.

The CFTC and the defendants explain that they are close to resolving the case and have agreed on proposed settlement terms. However, the attorneys from the Division of Enforcement representing the CFTC cannot bind the CFTC to a negotiated consent order resolving the case without first obtaining approval from the five CFTC Commissioners. Therefore, the parties need time to (1) prepare a mutually-acceptable proposed consent order containing findings of fact and conclusions of law that resolves the CFTC’s claims against the defendants and (2) recommend this consent order to the Commission for approval.

The parties seek relief from the Court’s discovery deadlines so as not to affect any party’s discovery rights or change the status quo while the parties work to finalize this resolution.

The parties agree that suspending all deadlines for a period of three months will provide them with sufficient time to finalize the resolution and minimize the chance that they will have to return to the Court to extend the stay.

Let’s recall that, in April 2019, Thakkar was acquitted on the conspiracy count in the criminal case brought by the Department of Justice against him. Soon after that, the Court declared a mistrial on the remaining aiding and abetting counts. Three jurors came out to speak to the attorneys and informed the attorneys that the jury voted 10 to 2 in favor of finding Jitesh Thakkar not guilty of the aiding and abetting charges. Following this result, the DOJ decided not to retry the case, and the Court dismissed the remaining counts against the defendant with prejudice.

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