Spoofing Case Settled – Oystacher and 3Red Trading Settle with the CFTC

On October 19, Igor Oystacher and his firm, 3Red Trading, announced in court that they had reached an agreement in principle with the CFTC that settles a spoofing lawsuit ahead of trial scheduled for January in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.  Oystacher and 3Red Trading faced allegations that they placed fake orders on several futures markets in order to make money based on resulting price fluctuations.  The CFTC sued Oystacher in October 2015, alleging that he placed false buy and sell orders on six contract markets (including copper, crude oil and natural gas) between 2011 and 2014.  According to the CFTC, Oystacher never intended to fill those orders, but instead used these “spoof” orders to take advantage of the resulting misperceptions about market demand.  Lawyers for the parties told the court that minor details of the agreement still needed to be finalized, but those details likely would not hold up the settlement.

Notably, Judge St. Eve recently rejected Oystacher’s viewpoint that the statute didn’t give traders fair notice of potential misconduct.  In denying his motion to dismiss, Judge St. Eve said that economic laws and regulations have a much less stringent vagueness standard than other laws because those participating in the markets are much more likely to consult the law.