Spoofing Defendant Rests Case in First Trial Over Market Tactic

The first trader to be tried on charges of spoofing rested his case Monday after telling jurors in Chicago federal court that commodities orders he placed “improved the market for everyone” and that he tried to promote trading activity.

Michael Coscia, the head of Panther Energy Trading LLC, said repeatedly under questioning by prosecutors Friday that he intended to trade every order he placed in late 2011, even though more than 460,000 large orders he placed on CME Group Inc. exchanges were canceled.

Coscia is accused of manipulating prices by placing a small order on one side of the market and then large orders on the opposite side. Once his small order was executed he canceled the larger orders. Prosecutors allege that he never intended to trade the large orders, a violation of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act that made spoofing illegal.

On Monday, prosecutors called a rebuttal witness after the defense rested. Jury deliberations are expected to begin this week.

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