DOJ urges victims of trader Navinder Sarao to submit statements by July 16, 2019

Maria Nikolova

Sarao has pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of spoofing.

Shortly after the US Department of Justice (DOJ) got the Court’s consent to use alternative notification procedure regarding the victims of the crime committed by former futures trader Navinder Singh Sarao who stands accused of spoofing, the US authorities have addressed the victims of the ex-trader.

The DOJ’s webpage dedicated to Sarao’s case informs his victims about the deadlines for the submission of so-called “victim impact statements”.

“If you would like to submit a Victim Impact Statement, you may do so by mailing the Victim Impact Statement to: Victim Witness Unit, U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Fraud Section, 10th & Constitution Avenue, NW, Bond Building, Room 4416, Washington, DC 20530. You also may submit the Victim Impact Statement via email at [email protected] or by fax at: (202) 514-3708”.

Those who would like to submit a Victim Impact Statement have to do so by no later than July 16, 2019.

Let’s recall that, on November 9, 2016, Navinder Singh Sarao of Hounslow, United Kingdom, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of spoofing before U.S. District Judge Virginia M. Kendall of the Northern District of Illinois.

As part of his guilty plea, Sarao admitted that during the period from at least January 2009 through at least April 2014, he used an automated trading program, along with other techniques, to defraud and manipulate the market for E-mini Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 futures contracts (E-minis), stock market index futures contracts based on the S&P 500 index, through the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME).

Sarao admitted that he placed thousands of orders that he did not intend to trade, or “spoof orders,” to create the appearance of substantial false supply and demand and to induce other market participants to trade E-minis at prices, quantities, and/or times that, but for Sarao’s spoof orders, they would not otherwise have traded. In thousands of instances, Sarao also admitted, he was able to induce other market participants into buying or selling E-minis by placing the spoof orders, which had the additional purpose and effect of artificially depressing or artificially inflating the price of E-minis.

According to the plea agreement, in instances when a market reaction occurred, Sarao frequently executed real, genuine orders to buy (typically at artificially low prices) or sell (typically at artificially high prices) E-minis. He admitted that he frequently was able to generate significant trading profits from buying and selling his genuine orders close in time with the placement of the spoof orders. As a result of his scheme, Sarao is estimated to have been able to make at least $12.8 million in illicit gains.

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