Ill. Judge Axes Ex-Merrill Lynch Trader's Spoofing Charge

Law360 (October 19, 2020, 9:10 PM EDT) -- An Illinois federal judge has narrowed the government's case against two former Merrill Lynch traders accused of deceptive trading in the precious metals futures market, throwing out the criminal spoofing charge facing one of the traders after ruling it can't be prosecuted as a scheme.

In a Friday decision, U.S. District Judge John Z. Lee sided with defendant John Pacilio to rule that the federal criminal anti-spoofing statute doesn't specifically include the term "scheme," so prosecutors can't style their spoofing count against him as a scheme offense that spans potentially numerous trading episodes over a period of time.

The judge then...

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