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High-Frequency Trading Firm Pays $67.4 Million in Record Spoofing Penalty

  • U.S. alleges three ex-traders engaged in market manipulation
  • Authorities have made cracking down on spoofing a priority
    

Photographer: Jeff_Hu/iStockphoto via Getty Images

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Tower Research Capital agreed to pay $67.4 million to settle allegations that three former traders at the firm engaged in spoofing, the largest penalty ever for such conduct, according to statements from the Justice Department and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

The ex-traders on thousands of occasions placed orders to buy or sell futures contracts -- including E-Mini S&P 500, E-Mini NASDAQ 100 and E-Mini Dow -- with the intent to cancel those orders before they were executed, the agencies said Thursday. The conduct lasted from at least March 2012 through December 2013. The New York-based firm entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the Justice Department.