SEC Charges New York Firm Briargate and Co-Founder With Spoofing

  • Briargate, co-founder Eric Oscher to pay more than $1 million
  • Spoofing was in 2011-2012 on NYSE-listed stocks, SEC Says

The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Briargate Trading LLP and its co-founder Eric Oscher with spoofing in the $23 trillion U.S. stock market.

Oscher, who neither admitted nor denied the findings, was ordered to disgorge $525,000 in profits, as well as pay a civil penalty of $150,000, the SEC said in an e-mailed statement. Briargate agreed to pay a $350,000 civil penalty, the SEC said. The firm and Oscher must not spoof anymore, the SEC said.

“Oscher took advantage of our interconnected markets by placing non-bona fide orders on one exchange, and then buying or selling the spoofed securities at artificial prices on other exchanges,” Joseph Sansone, co-chief of the SEC’s Market Abuse Unit, said in the statement.

Spoofing has become a growing concern for regulators in derivatives markets after the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act made such trading illegal. Navinder Sarao was indicted in August by U.S. prosecutors for allegedly spoofing in U.S. stock index futures on the day of the flash crash in May 2010, when more than $1 trillion in value of U.S. equities was temporarily wiped out. Sarao, who is fighting extradition from the U.K., has denied wrongdoing.

Spoofing in stock markets has always been illegal under the Securities Exchange Act.

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