back to article Flash crash trader takes plea bargain, cops to 'spoofing' and wire fraud

Navinder Sarao, the British trader accused of causing a "flash crash" from his parents' home in London, has pleaded guilty to wire fraud and illegal market manipulation. The indictment against Sarao alleged that he had committed 22 counts of fraud, which included "spoofing" – illegally manipulating the market by flooding the …

  1. Reue

    Though there is no English crime of "spoofing"

    The BBC article claims: there is no English crime of "spoofing"

    So did he commit a crime under UK law?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Though there is no English crime of "spoofing"

      I think it's also quite likely that he was coerced into "making a plea" by the US judicial system.

      I have to say the whole thing smells rather fishy.....

      1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

        Re: Though there is no English crime of "spoofing"

        Technically spoofing is market abuse, and I am pretty sure is forbidden under English market regulations. Of course the crime took place in Chicago Mercantile Exchange, so was not subject to these exact regulations. But given that if the deed took place on LSE it would have been penalized, I think extradition is only fair.

    2. Richard 26

      Re: Though there is no English crime of "spoofing"

      Lawyers for the US argued that whilst there isn't an exact equivalent under UK law, what he did amounted to fraud. The CPS probably couldn't make that stick but that isn't (legally speaking) reason enough not to extradite him.

      Extradition ruling here:

      https://www.judiciary.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/sarao_extradition_judgment.pdf

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This case is a farce....

    ~ The markets... What a rogues playpen! I know traders who do this kind of thing everyday. Yet none has ever been indicted. They're American, have seats on the Merc and have been Wall Streeters for around 20+ years. So is that it?

    ~ This case stinks for so many reasons, it stinks of nationalism... Defend home-grown trader-terrorists and go after the overseas patsies living in their Mum's bedroom.

    Compelling extracts from the beeb:

    1. "Mr Sarao's barrister James Lewis has attacked those claims, pointing to a growing body of opinion in the City and in academia that he could not, as the FBI allege, have "materially contributed" to the flash crash of 2010."

    2. "Instead it's alleged that the flash crash happened because of a giant sell order placed by a US hedge fund called Waddell & Read, a conclusion previously reached by the US regulator, the Commodities & Futures Trading Commission. "

    3. "Under extradition arrangements with the US, the accused can only be extradited from England if what they are accused of is a crime under English law. There is no English crime of "spoofing."

    1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

      Re: This case is a farce....

      Ad 3. Yes, there is

      1. Falmari

        Re: This case is a farce....

        Bronek that law was created 2016 what was the law the time of the offence 2010.

        Personally I think this extradition is a farce. He committed the act in the UK if it is an offence in the UK he should be tried in the UK if not a UK offence then that should be the end of it.

        1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

          Re: This case is a farce....

          Good point, until 3 July 2016 a different regulation was in place. See page 2 , FSMA 118 here

          1. Falmari

            Re: This case is a farce....

            Cheers Bronek looks like it was a Uk offence therefore he should be tried in the UK that's where he was when he committed the act

            1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

              Re: This case is a farce....

              The market manipulation took place in Chicago.

              1. Falmari

                Re: This case is a farce....

                No it took place in the UK

  3. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    Standard Operating Procedure in the US

    Arrest them and charge them with every law that might apply and a few that don't, seize their assets and put them in jail. Then offer them the chance to plead guilty to a lesser charge, fine them and let them go - poorer but wiser.

    His real crime? Trading for himself - had he been working for Goldman Sachs he would have received a nice bonus and charges would have been dropped without anyone admitting guilt.

  4. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    Malgorithm

    At the time the backroom opinion was that the crash was caused by US trading algorithms trying to manipulate each others trading patterns.

    Given the distance, it's simple not physically possible for a trader in the UK to cause a crash like that without breaking the speed of light. It had to have been a US trading malgorithm.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      WTF?

      "not physically possible.." "..without breaking the speed of light. "

      Indeed

      When HFT companies where paying huge funds to be in Exchange server rooms to cut times by nanoseconds (to let them implement their legalized man-in-the middle attacks) and the Atlantic is 19 000 ns wide this is simply BS.

  5. James 47

    Some solutions

    Charge for cancelled orders based on the size of the order.

    Throttle feeds when this happens or put them lower in the buying queue.

    Only allow cancellations after a timeout has elapsed. If any of it gets filled then too bad.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      IT Angle

      Re: Some solutions

      Read "Flash Boys."

      The US exchanges have cooperated in defining a slew of bizarre order types that basically allow HFT companies to probe the market without actually having to buy any shares.

      They are not really orders as such

      They are a probe language allowing the HFT to buy up the big orders ahead of the actual customer and then sell them on at mark up. This is how HFT's can be in the astonishing position of "trading" on stock exchanges and never making a loss.

      The simplest answer. Stick a 20Km FO cable on the front of the Exchange servers and don't allow HFT or other big players to co lo at your server facility.

  6. JaitcH
    FAIL

    It's OK when the thieves on Wall Street do it ...

    but when a Foreigner joins in that's totally different.

    America doesn't do justice, it's more like 'Make A Deal'. It takes a brave person to fight them.

    What's even worse, the Tory government participated in this miscarriage. Wouldn't happen in France - they don't extradite their own.

    1. P. Lee Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: It's OK when the thieves on Wall Street do it ...

      See? No guilt on us whiter-than-white, true blue, Americans for losing $1tn! It wurz those foreign criminals what done it!

      They even admit it!

      -

      Burn the witch!

      Did you dress him up as one?

      No, No, No.

      Well yes, a bit. We did do the nose... and the hat.

      Burn 'im anyway!

      There are ways of telling if he stole $1tn off ordinary hard working Americans.

      What is it? How?

      We need to compare him to a duck.

      etc.

    2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      "What's even worse, the Tory government participated in this miscarriage. "

      I think the asymmetrical extradition law, with different standards of proof for US --> UK and UK <--US was a little gift of Tony Blair's to his pal GW Bush.

      Since both are long gone it's well past time it was reviewed, and by that I mean with a view to being scrapped.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Trumped

    The election of Trump definitely calls for human sacrifice.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Coat

      "The election of Trump definitely calls for human sacrifice."

      Or as one overheard comment put it.

      "Top Trump. Top Trump."

      Remember thought someone took a pot shot at Reagan, so he'd not be the first Republican President to have someone take a pot shot at him.

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