CFTC Charges Hedge Fund Adviser With Manipulating Market to Trigger Payouts on FX Swaps

The CFTC recently accused a commodity pool operator and hedge fund adviser, as well as their founder and principal, of engaging in a fraudulent scheme to manipulate the U.S. dollar-South African rand exchange rate to secure $30 million in payments under two “one touch” binary options held by the funds they managed. The founder allegedly caused the funds that held the options to sell hundreds of millions of dollars in exchange for rands to drive the exchange rate down to the barrier level that would trigger payment by the counterparty to each option. The CFTC also accused the defendants of supervisory failures associated with the alleged fraud. This article details the CFTC’s complaint. See “CFTC Enforcement Report Reflects Strong Focus on Digital Assets” (Dec. 22, 2022); as well as our two-part review of CFTC activity: “Enforcement Actions” (Apr. 15, 2021); and “Regulatory Actions” (Apr. 29, 2021).

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