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Deutsche Bank gold and silver spoofer tells jury his bosses showed him how
By Janan Hanna
Thursday, September 17, 2020
Former Deutsche Bank AG analyst David Liew told a Chicago jury he learned how to manipulate gold and silver prices from the two successful senior traders he admired and worked with for about three years.
Liew said he wanted to be a team player and make money after joining the bank's Singapore office, so he began doing "spoof" trades the way he was taught by Cedric Chanu and James Vorley. The senior traders often placed buy and sell orders they never intended to execute, a strategy intended to influence prices so they could reap illegal profits, Liew said.
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Vorley and Chanu are on trial for fraud and conspiracy, accused of issuing multiple bogus trade orders between 2008 and 2013. The case is the latest prosecution of “spoofing” trades brought by the U.S., which has been cracking down on the practice since the so-called "flash crash" a decade ago.
"I saw Mr. Vorley and Mr. Chanu do it," Liew, a graduate of the London School of Economics and the prosecution's star witness, said Wednesday in federal court.
Liew, who has pleaded guilty to spoofing charges and is cooperating with the government in return for leniency, said he sat next to Chanu in Singapore from 2009 to 2012 and communicated daily on a live video chat with Vorley in London.
While he knew manipulating prices was wrong, Liew said spoofing trades were "so commonplace" in the market and among his co-workers that he figured it was OK.
In one of several trades Liew described in detail, he worked with Vorley on Aug. 26, 2010, to push up gold prices.
Liew said he put in an order to sell 15 futures contracts, valued at around $1.8 million based on prices at the time, while Vorley placed an order to buy 80 contracts, which would have been worth about $9.9 million. When prices rose, Vorley canceled his buy order and Liew executed his sell order, Liew said. ...
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