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Thursday, October 02, 2014

High Frequency Trading: Just the Tip of the Iceberg Crooks Use

Today, a High-Frequency Trader was indicted for manipulating markets. This is the little fish compared to some, but it's the start of a process which should lead to the indictment of many CEOs of high profile S&P companies for falsifying earnings:
Between August and October 2011, Coscia allegedly defrauded participants in the CME Group and ICE Futures Europe markets. In August 2011, Coscia began a high-frequency trading strategy in which he entered large-volume orders that he intended to immediately cancel before they could filled by other traders, the indictment alleges.
Coscia devised this strategy to create a false impression regarding the number of contracts available in the market, and to fraudulently induce other market participants to react to the deceptive market information he created, the indictment states. His strategy moved the markets in a direction favorable to him, enabling him to purchase contracts at prices lower than, or sell contracts at prices higher than, the prices available in the market before he entered and canceled his large-volume orders, it adds. Coscia then allegedly repeated this strategy in the opposite direction to immediately obtain a profit by buying futures contracts at a lower price than he paid for them, or by selling contracts at a higher price than he paid for them. Each such trade allegedly occurred in a matter of milliseconds. As a result of the aggregate of those fraudulent high-frequency trades, Coscia illegally profited approximately $1,592,867 over approximately three months, the indictment alleges.