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In June 2018, we published an article discussing the government’s efforts to prosecute defendants who engage in a form of trading activity on commodity futures exchanges known as “spoofing,” which the law defines as “bidding or offering with the intent to cancel the bid or offer before execution.” See, Jodi Misher Peikin & Brent M. Tunis, “When Is a Bid or Offer a ‘Spoof’?,” Business Crimes Bulletin (June 2018). In that article, we observed that the failure of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to define what specific conduct qualifies as spoofing has left market participants uncertain about when cancellation of a bid or offer crosses the line from an acceptable trading strategy to an illegal “spoof.” This ambiguity is compounded by the fact that rapid cancellation of orders is prevalent in the commodities markets. See, Richard Haynes & John S. Roberts, CFTC, “Automated Trading in Futures Markets” at 9 (2015) (“[J]ust over 50 percent of market orders are cancelled within half a second, approximately the speed of human reaction.”).
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By Jacqueline C. Wolff
Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue
this second edition contains some new “hypotheticals” — facts of actual cases the DOJ finds important enough to focus on — and, in keeping true to its name, has included additional resources and links for chief compliance officers looking to design and audit their companies’ anticorruption compliance programs.
By Robert J. Anello and Richard F. Albert
United States v. Napout
The U.S. government’s lead role in the prosecution of corruption within the Zurich-based FIFA may be a paradigmatic example of U.S. law enforcement acting as the world’s policeman. If corruption is based on foreign executives violating their duties of loyalty to foreign private entities, how does that translate into a violation of U.S. criminal law? Does it matter that the conduct in which the foreign executive engaged — commercial bribery — may not be illegal under the law of the executive’s home country?
By Elkan Abramowitz and Jonathan S. Sack
This article discusses cases that have begun to address whether “official act” is an element in a private honest services fraud prosecution.
By Telemachus P. Kasulis
For a moment there, it really looked like it was going to happen. After a long and winding road, insider trading reform had reached the floor of the House of Representatives for a vote. The Insider Trading Prohibition Act (ITPA) had support on both sides of the aisle and on Dec. 5, 2019, the House voted to pass the ITPA. Then the bill went to the Senate and vanished. We should take this opportunity to learn what lessons we can from the successes and failures of the ITPA as a bill with an eye toward fashioning the best possible legislation next time — whenever that may be.