Two ex-Deutsche Bank traders indicted over alleged spoof trading

(Reuters) - Two former Deutsche Bank AG traders have been indicted on U.S. charges they placed fraudulent “spoof” orders for precious metals futures contracts.

James Vorley, 38, of the UK, and Cedric Chanu, 39, of France and the United Arab Emirates, were both charged with one count of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy by a federal grand jury in Chicago, U.S. prosecutors said on Wednesday.

The defendants had been among eight individuals criminally charged by prosecutors in January over alleged deceptive trading practices on U.S. commodities markets.

Deutsche Bank agreed that month to pay a $30 million fine to settle related civil charges by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Lawyers for Vorley did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A lawyer for Chanu could not immediately be identified. Deutsche Bank was not criminally charged.

According to the indictment, Vorley worked for Deutsche Bank in London from 2007 to 2015, and Chanu worked for the bank in London and Singapore from 2008 to 2013.

The indictment said Vorley, Chanu and former Deutsche Bank trader David Liew engaged in a multi-year conspiracy to defraud other traders through spoofing, the placing of orders to buy or sell futures contracts that they never intended to complete.

Prosecutors said this created a false sense of supply and demand, and manipulated prices in their favor by inducing other traders to make trades they would otherwise not have made.

The indictment described alleged electronic chats among the Deutsche Bank traders to further the conspiracy.

In one, Vorley allegedly told Singapore-based Liew that their activity “was cladssic [sic] / jam it / woooooooooooo .... bif [sic] it up,” prompting Liew to reply: “tricks from the ... master.”

Liew pleaded guilty in June 2017 to a related criminal conspiracy charge. He has been cooperating with prosecutors.

The case is U.S. v Vorley et al, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, No. 18-cr-00035.

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Leslie Adler and Phil Berlowitz