TFS-ICAP’s ex-Global Head of Emerging Markets broking says CFTC has no case against him

Maria Nikolova

The defense counsel argues Jeremy Woolfenden did not supervise or control the New York desk, and the few contacts he had with employees do not support personal jurisdiction.

As a “flying & printing” case targeting TFS-ICAP and two of its former managers continues at the New York Southern District Court, the arguments keep building up. 

Earlier today, a summary of a document by Jeremy Woolfenden, former Global Head of Emerging Markets broking at TFS-ICAP, who is among the defendants in this case, was made available by the Court. The document marks another attempt by the defendant to convince the Judge to nix the case against him for lack of personal jurisdiction.

Let’s recall that, according to the CFTC Complaint, from approximately 2008 through 2015, brokers at TFS-ICAP offices in the United States and the United Kingdom attempted to deceive and deceived their clients by engaging in the practices of communicating to them fake bids and offers and fake trades in the foreign exchange options market. The CFTC Complaint alleges that the practices, known as “flying prices” and “printing trades”, were a core part of TFS-ICAP’s broking business.

According to the CFTC, the New York Southern District Court has personal jurisdiction over Mr Woolfenden because his actions caused the underlying misconduct at issue in this case – flying & printing trades. TFS-ICAP brokers made misrepresentations to US-based clients because they had been trained and encouraged to do so by Mr Woolfenden. Though Mr. Woolfenden lived in London, as the Global Head of Emerging Markets FX Options he directly supervised and managed these US- and London-based brokers through at least mid-August 2015. Moreover, he registered with the CFTC in the United State as an associated person of two CFTC-registered entities.

Furthermore, the CFTC argues that the conduct at issue in this case – flying prices and printing trades to US-based clients – is a direct result of Mr Woolfenden’s own actions. The Complaint alleges that in 2008, Mr Woolfenden introduced the practices of flying and printing to US-based brokers. Specifically, he pressured existing US management at the time to adopt the deceptive practices, stripped them of responsibilities when they resisted, and installed a new manager who would comply. Moreover, Mr. Woolfenden took it upon himself to teach the practices to US-based supervisees.

In the latest Letter filed with the Court, the counsel for Mr Woolfenden argues that even after substantial pre-suit discovery with hundreds of thousands of pages of documents and thousands of recorded telephone conversations by Mr Woolfenden and his London desk, the CFTC has not been able to muster allegations that establish this Court’s personal jurisdiction over Mr Woolfenden. The defense counsel says that the CFTC’s attempt to use alleged contacts dating back to 2007 and 2008 marks a futile and prejudicial attempt to do so.

“Mr. Woolfenden did not supervise or control the New York desk, and the few contacts he had with employees on that desk cannot be a “proximate cause” or “but for” cause of the CFTC’s claims and thus do not support personal jurisdiction”, the Letter says.

Accordingly, the defense argues that the Court should dismiss all claims against Mr Woolfenden for lack of personal jurisdiction.

This is not the first time Mr Woolfenden argues that the complaint against him has to be nixed for such reasons. A similar document was submitted by him in April this year.

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