CFTC settles charges against FNY Partners Fund LP for spoofing with $585K fine

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission settling charges against Thomas Donino and the company he worked for, FNY Partners Fund LP, for spoofing—bidding or offering with the intent to cancel the bid or offer before execution.

The Commission found that from January 2013 and January 2016 Donino placed multiple orders in the Chicago Board of Trade soybean futures, Commodity Exchange (COMEX) gold futures and New York Mercantile Exchange crude oil futures markets, intending to cancel them before execution.

His pattern was to place a small order for 10 or fewer contracts on one side of the market that he wanted to get filled as a genuine order and then place a larger order that he intended to spoof, typically for five times as many contracts as the genuine order. Donino canceled the spoof order shortly after placing it and often after his genuine order was filled.

CFTC penalty

The CFTC imposed a $135,000 civil monetary penalty against Donino and suspended him from trading for three months.

The US watchdog found FNY Partners Fund vicariously liable for Donino’s spoofing. The CFTC imposed a fine in the amount of $450,000 on the company.

Division of Enforcement Director James McDonald commented:

This enforcement action demonstrates the CFTC’s enhanced abilities to detect and prosecute spoofing using data analytics. The CFTC will continue to identify and investigate spoofing and hold accountable both individual traders and the firms that employ them.

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