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Federal prosecutors and authorities more generally have spent the better part of the last few years trying to demonstrate that spoofing—goosing the market you actually intend to trade in with a raft of rather large orders you have no intention of actually executing—is, in fact, illegal. And, like, properly, prison-worthy illegal, whatever those bleeding hearts at the U.S. Probation Office say.

And their efforts at spoofing spoofing into being a real crime are paying off: In spite of the fact that prosecutors’ success in proving such charges before a jury is somewhat less-than-impressive, they’ve put enough fear of god—and of five years in prison—into the alleged spoofers to achieve what they really wanted all along: An inducement for some nice, friendly, no-work guilty pleas.

A former Bank of America Corp. trader has pleaded guilty to spoofing, admitting to entering phony orders to try to influence the market for U.S. Treasurys…. In one example, [Tyler] Forbes attempted to sell $65 million in 10-year Treasury notes in May 2019 and placed a phony $250 million buy order, creating a false appearance of market interest, according to prosecutors./Mr. Forbes, who began his career with Bank of America in 2016 after studying at Colgate University, was involved in 194 instances of spoofing….

So, you know, better play nice, short-sellers. This shit is serious now.

Ex-BofA Treasury Note Trader Admits to Spoofing [WSJ]

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By Chris Potter (Flickr: 3D Judges Gavel) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Judges Say Prosecutors Can Spoof Spoofing Probes

At least, they say no one can question whether they’re doing it, which is just as good.

By Swiss Banker [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Turns Out Spoofing Isn’t Harder To Prove Than Racketeering

Prosecutors can save themselves the trouble going forward.

By Federal Bureau of Prisons ( [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Probation Officials: Sure, Spoofing Is Illegal, But, Like, Not That Illegal

Certainly not prison illegal, really, if you think about it.


Prosecutors Successfully Spoof Spoofer To Prison

And even more successfully cite the specter of reefer madness.

By Chris Potter (Flickr: 3D Judges Gavel) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Racketeering Apparently Easier To Prove Than Spoofing

At least, federal prosecutors hope it is.


Manipulating Libor Not Illegal After All

Now that that’s no longer useful information.