Feds: Trader Made $1.5M by Manipulating Prices


Chicago prosecutors say a high-frequency trader in New Jersey has been indicted for allegedly manipulating commodities prices by using software that executes trades within milliseconds.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Chicago announced the indictment Thursday. It alleges that 52-year-old Michael Coscia, of Rumson, New Jersey, made around $1.5 million by illegally placing orders through the Chicago-based CME Group and European futures markets in 2011.

Prosecutors say the indictment is the first of its kind under major changes to commodities law in 2010.

Coscia is charged with commodities fraud and “spoofing,” which refers to signaling that an order is being placed without intending to follow through. If convicted, he could face decades in prison.

Coscia’s attorney, Richard Reibman, said Thursday that he’s “discussing the matter” with prosecutors. He declined further comment.