Accused Spoofer's Trial Date Set as Judge Weighs Trading Ban

  • U.S. government accuses him of cheating in futures markets
  • CFTC says it won't call Oystacher's ex-partner as a witness

Igor Oystacher, who regulators want banned from trading before a trial over allegations of manipulation in futures markets, will have to wait until next year for a jury to decide whether he’s breaking the law.

U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve on Thursday set a trial for Jan. 17 in a lawsuit against the accused spoofer. The judge is hearing a fourth day of testimony in Chicago on whether Oystacher should be barred from trading while the case proceeds.

Oystacher, of 3Red Trading LLC, was sued last year by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission for allegedly engaging in spoofing, an illegal bait-and-switch strategy that involves placing orders meant to deceive others. He’s denied the accusation.

A CFTC lawyer disclosed Thursday that Edwin Johnson won’t be called as a witness during the trial. Johnson co-founded 3Red with Oystacher. Oystacher has sued Johnson, and as part of those proceedings, Johnson has said he’s met repeatedly with federal investigations to discuss Oystacher’s trading.

According to a filing in that case, Johnson met with FBI agents and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois in 2014 to talk about an “investigation into Oystacher’s illegal trading activities and other unlawful misconduct.”

While testifying Wednesday, Oystacher said he was assured by Johnson that his trading was above board even as exchanges and regulators were making inquiries. In questioning from one of his attorneys, Oystacher said Johnson, his former chief compliance officer, told him the inquiries weren’t something to worry about, and based on that, Oystacher said he viewed the inquiries as “not a big deal.”

Attempts to reach Johnson’s lawyer weren’t immediately returned.

The case is U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission v. Oystacher, 15-cv-09196, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Chicago).

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