Sentencing of former futures trader Navinder Sarao gets rescheduled

Maria Nikolova

The sentencing of Sarao, who has been accused of spoofing, has been rescheduled for January 28, 2020.

Sentencing of former futures trader Navinder Singh Sarao who stands accused of spoofing has been rescheduled, the latest filings with the Illinois Northern District Court show.

According to an entry before the Honorable Virginia M. Kendall, on the Court’s own Motion and by agreement of parties, the sentencing is reset for January 28, 2020 at 10:00 AM. Sentencing position papers are due on or before January 14, 2020. Objections, if any, shall be filed on or before January 21, 2020.

On November 9, 2016, Navinder Singh Sarao pleaded guilty to two counts of a twenty-two count criminal indictment – he pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and to one count of spoofing.

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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