October 8, 2015 / 4:05 PM / 4 years ago

UPDATE 1-New York trading firm to pay $1 mln to settle SEC charges over spoofing

(Adds background on the case and on the U.S. government crackdown on spoofing)

By Sarah N. Lynch

WASHINGTON, Oct 8 (Reuters) - A New York-based proprietary trading firm and one of its founders will pay more than $1 million to settle civil charges that they engaged in a manipulative strategy known as spoofing, U.S. regulators said on Thursday.

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s case against Briargate Trading LLP and co-founder Eric Oscher marks the latest effort by the U.S. government to crack down on spoofing.

In spoofing, a trader tries to create a false appearance of market interest in a stock by placing orders and then immediately canceling them.

A lawyer for Briargate and Oscher was not immediately available for comment.

The SEC said the spoofing scheme ran from October 2011 through September 2012 and focused on stocks listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Oscher and his firm reaped about $525,000 in profits as a result, the SEC said. He is settling the charges without admitting or denying them.

“Oscher took advantage of our interconnected markets by placing non bona fide orders on one exchange, and then buying or selling the spoofed securities at artificial prices on other exchanges,” said Joseph Sansone, co-chief of the SEC’s Market Abuse Unit.

Earlier this year, the Justice Department and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced parallel criminal and civil charges against London-based trader Navinder Sarao, whom they accused of using spoofing tactics in the commodities market that ultimately contributed to the 2010 “flash crash.”

Sarao has since been indicted and is fighting efforts by the United States to have him extradited to face trial. (Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Bill Trott and Lisa Von Ahn)

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