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Feds Endanger Space Time Continuum By Arresting Futures Trader in 2015 For Crime Perpetrated in 2010

If a man who trades futures in 2015 is arrested for a crime he might have committed five years ago, does Marty McFly's hand start to disappear?

Remember when the Dow dropped like an overweight stone over the course of a few terrifying moments in 2010?

Well, good news, it only took five years to find the one guy that was apparently responsible for a systemic meltdown of a major exchange. And now we're totally going to get justice... maybe.

Here's part of the statement from the Department of Justice;

A futures trader was arrested in the United Kingdom today on U.S. wire fraud and commodities fraud and manipulation charges in connection with his alleged role in the May 2010 “Flash Crash,” when the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 600 points in five minutes, announced Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Special Agent in Charge Robert J. Holley of the FBI’s Chicago Division.
Navinder Singh Sarao, 37, of Hounslow, United Kingdom, was arrested today in the United Kingdom, and the United States is requesting his extradition. Sarao was charged in a federal criminal complaint in the Northern District of Illinois on Feb. 11, 2015, with one count of wire fraud, 10 counts of commodities fraud, 10 counts of commodities manipulation, and one count of “spoofing,” a practice of bidding or offering with the intent to cancel the bid or offer before execution.

Sarao, who, despite references to "employees", seems to have acted alone is - according to the CFTC - the true villain of this affair. One thing that will not help Sarao beat the rap is the CFTC's contention that he is still up to the same mischief.

According to a CFTC complaint against Sarao dated April 17.

Presently, Sarao is actively trading high volumes in the E-mini S&P market in a personal account. Sarao continues to engage in spoofing activity by, among other things, placing and quickly canceling orders with no intention of executing a trade.

These days it's commonly accepted knowledge that a lot of people were experimenting with "spoofing" "layering" and other high-speed trading hijinx. But Sarao does seem to have been the only guy trying to move $7.8 billion of notional value while failing to execute 99% of the trades he claimed to have entered into.

So here we are, waiting on extradition for one dude who apparently was entirely responsible for a majorly terrible event that taught us an important lesson about financial behavior: wait five years and then find a guy that seems to have been way greedier than most people doing the same thing and arrest him.

On a totally unrelated note, trading on Virtu Financial's stock is still pretty healthy after its IPO last Thursday.


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