Software developer accused of aiding spoofing scheme fails to secure summary judgment

Maria Nikolova

Although the criminal proceedings against Jitesh Thakkar have come to an end, the CFTC action against him continues at the Illinois Northern District Court.

Jitesh Thakkar, president of Edge Financial Technologies, could not secure a summary judgment in his favor in the case brought against him by the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), according to documents filed with the Illinois Northern District Court and seen by FinanceFeeds. Although the criminal proceedings against Thakkar have come to an end, the civil case brought by the CFTC against him continues at the Illinois Northern District Court. Thakkar is charged with aiding and abetting a spoofing scheme operated by Navinder Sarao.

The defendants in the CFTC case – Jitesh Thakkar and his firm Edge Financial Technologies, Inc. had requested a Summary Judgment in their favor. On September 11, 2019, the Honorable Andrea R. Wood said the defendants’ motion for summary judgment is denied without prejudice as premature.

In April this year, Jitesh 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.

The CFTC continues its case against the defendant. The defendant has insisted that all of the facts of the case are on the table, and those facts are insufficient to find that he or Edge Financial aided or abetted Navinder Sarao’s violations of the CEA as the CFTC alleges.

According to the defendant, no further discovery is needed because the entire record was fully developed in the multi-year joint DOJ/CFTC investigation and the subsequent criminal case that resulted in an acquittal on the conspiracy count and dismissal of the aiding and abetting counts following a 10-2 vote in favor of acquittal. Jitesh Thakkar argues that the CFTC should not be given years more to investigate this case just because their initial investigation failed to find any evidence of wrongdoing by him or Edge Financial.

The defendant also argues that the circumstantial evidence supports his lack of knowledge or intent to aid Sarao’s alleged wrongdoing. Neither Jitesh nor Edge Financial received any portion of Sarao’s $12.9 million in profits from his spoofing.

After the open hearing held on the motion for summary judgment, the defendants’ motion was nixed. The Judge said the fact discovery deadline is reset for February 28, 2020.

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