US Govt, CFTC support proposed stay of civil proceedings against ex-UBS trader

Maria Nikolova

Whereas Andre Flotron insists such a stay would unfairly prejudice him, the Government and the regulator argue that the civil proceedings should be stayed until the end of a criminal case against the ex-trader.

Andre Flotron, a former precious metals trader of UBS AG (SWX:UBSN), is facing opposition from the United States Government and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) over his plans to stop the protracting of the cases against him.

On Thursday, March 8, 2018, the Government and the CFTC filed Motions that support an earlier request by the Government to intervene in the civil case against the defendant, who is accused of spoofing. The Government insists that the civil case against Flotron should be stayed until the criminal proceedings against him in a related case are over.

Whereas the defendant argues that he will be prejudiced by the requested stay, the Government notes that Flotron does not explain how exactly he will be prejudiced. The Government argues it is not saying that this civil action should never proceed or that defendant Flotron may never have an opportunity to defend himself in this case. Rather, the Government is merely requesting a stay of a short duration pending a parallel criminal proceeding. Given the status of the criminal case (including that trial is less than a month away), such a limited stay would benefit judicial economy and the public interest, while having only minimal (if any) impact on the defendant.

The criminal case, however, has proven to be controversial with regard to the Government’s planned schedule and venue requests.

In February, Judge Jeffrey Alker Meyer of the Connecticut District Court blasted the Government’s requests to allow the transfer of the criminal case against Flotron to Illinois. The Judge concluded that a speedy trial should proceed in Connecticut on the schedule previously agreed to by the Government. In explaining his decision, the Judge said it would be clearly contrary to the manifest public interest to allow the Government to break its agreement to proceed to trial in April so that it may start the prosecution all over again on a blank slate with new charges in the Northern District of Illinois.

Andre Flotron, a citizen and resident of Switzerland, was arrested in September 2017, while visiting his girlfriend in the United States, based on a federal criminal complaint that issued from the District of Connecticut. The criminal complaint alleged defendant’s violation of federal criminal laws including conspiracy, wire fraud, commodities fraud, and “spoofing” between July 2008 and November 2013. The charges stemmed from allegedly fraudulent or manipulative practices by defendant while he was employed as a precious metals trader for UBS AG.

In October 2017, Flotron was released on a $4 million bond and strict conditions of home confinement with GPS monitoring at a residence of a custodian in New Jersey.

The civil case against Mr Flotron is captioned Commodity Futures Trading Commission v. Flotron (3:18-cv-00158).

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