WASHINGTON Oct 5 The U.S. Commodity Futures
Trading Commission filed the highest number of enforcement
actions in its 38-year history in the 2012 fiscal year, the
agency said on Friday.
The CFTC filed 102 enforcement actions in its fiscal year
ended Sept. 30, up slightly from the 99 actions it filed in 2011
and a big boost over the 57 cases filed in 2010.
The agency notched a high-profile victory in June, when it
fined Barclays Plc $200 million over charges that the
British bank manipulated global benchmark interest rates
including the London interbank offered rate.
The case, which set off a fresh outcry on both sides of the
Atlantic against banker malfeasance, was the CFTC's largest fine
The CFTC also filed charges against Peregrine Financial
Group, the futures brokerage that filed for bankruptcy in July
after its chief executive, Russell Wasendorf Sr., attempted
suicide and admitted to bilking customers out of millions of
David Meister, the CFTC's enforcement director, said his
division had begun to use new authorities granted by the 2010
Dodd-Frank financial reform law in its enforcement cases. That
law gives the CFTC new power to pursue market fraud and
The law also tasked the small agency with writing new rules
to boost oversight of the $648 trillion over-the-counter swaps
market. The risk and opacity of that market helped fuel the 2008
"It's really remarkable that in the midst of implementing
the largest overhaul of financial regulations in CFTC's history,
the agency's hard-hitting enforcement team has been able to
continue so aggressively to go after the bad actors and
unscrupulous players in our markets," CFTC Commissioner Bart
Chilton said in an email.
The agency said it opened 350 new investigations in 2012 and
obtained orders imposing more than $585 million in sanctions.
The commission has yet to file any charges against bankrupt
brokerage MF Global, which collapsed in October 2011, leaving an
estimated $1.6 billion hole in customer funds.