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Indian Americans plead guilty in commodities fraud, spoofing conspiracy

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Two Indian Americans have pleaded guilty to the charges of USD 60 million commodities fraud and spoofing conspiracy in New York and Chicago, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.

Krishna Mohan, 33, of New York, pleaded guilty today to one count while Kamaldeep Gandhi, 36, of Chicago, to two counts of conspiracy to engage in wire fraud, commodities fraud and spoofing, they said.

Sentencing for Mohan and Gandhi are scheduled in a Texas court on February 28 and February 22 next year, respectively.

Gandhi and Mohan, under the guilty plea, admitted that, from March 2012 to March 2014, they conspired with Yuchun “Bruce” Mao and others at the first firm (Trading Firm A) to mislead the markets for E-Mini S&P 500 and E-Mini NASDAQ 100 futures contracts traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and E-Mini Dow futures contracts traded on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT), the Department of Justice said.
They further admitted that they and their co-conspirators placed thousands of orders that they did not intend to execute, or “spoof orders”, in order to obtain executions of other orders, or “primary orders”, at better prices, quantities and/or times than otherwise possible, to the benefit of the co-conspirators and Trading Firm A, it said.

Gandhi and Mohan further admitted that the US has calculated that the scheme resulted in market losses of over USD 60 million, the Department said.

In addition, Gandhi admitted that, from May 2014 through October 2014, while employed at the second firm (Trading Firm B), he conspired with others to mislead the markets for E-Mini S&P 500 futures contracts traded on the CME by agreeing to place, and himself placing, hundreds of spoof orders for E-Mini S&P 500 futures contracts in order to create the false and misleading appearance of increased supply or demand, the Justice department said.

Gandhi admitted that the US has calculated that the scheme resulted in market losses of over USD 1.3 million, it added.

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