Singapore Regulator Charges Malaysian Investor With Spoofing

  • Man accused of deleting fraudulent orders after trades
  • Case is first joint effort by financial regulator and police

The Monetary Authority of Singapore building.

Photographer: Roslan Rahman/AFP via Getty Images

Singapore has charged a Malaysian investor with spoofing on the city’s securities market.

Dennis Tey Thean Yang was accused of buying and selling contracts for differences in the underlying securities of companies including Guocoland Ltd. and Asia Power Corp. with the intent to defraud other investors by artificially increasing or lowering bid and ask prices. He would delete the fraudulent orders after his trades, according to a filing made Friday by the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the police.

The criminal charges are the first joint effort by the regulator and the Commercial Affairs Department, the police’s white-collar crime unit, since coming together in March 2015 to probe market misconduct. The case comes as Singapore steps up its efforts to protect its reputation as a financial center. The city has boosted the maximum fine for such offenses in its civil penalty regime for insider trading, which was introduced in 2004.

Tey, who could not be reached for comment, is also accused of misusing other people’s trading accounts at DBS Vickers Securities Pte and DMG & Partners Securities Pte without consent.

Charges, Raids

In May, prosecutors charged two men for insider trading offenses on two stocks before the companies received takeover offers. In an unrelated move in April, authorities raided a number of brokerages after the the city’s stock exchange reported several cases related to alleged insider trading and market manipulation.

Tey faces 23 charges for offenses related to Singapore’s Securities and Futures Act, including on a series of transactions through his accounts with brokers CMC Markets Singapore Pte and IG Asia Pte between October 2012 and January 2013, according to the filing. If convicted, he faces as long as seven years in jail and a fine of as much as S$250,000 ($184,000) for each charge. 

A penny-stock rout in October 2013 prompted the city’s largest securities-fraud probe after three companies suffered an unexplained free-fall that wiped out S$8 billion over three trading days. The stocks had surged by as much as 1,000 percent over the preceding nine months.

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