“The government is like the proverbial man with a hammer for whom everything looks like a nail.” This is what former Deutsche Bank traders state as they try to oppose the proposed prison sentences for them in a spoofing case brought by the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Less than a month after the DOJ requested that the Court sentences to prison James Vorley and Cedric Chanu, convicted of spoofing, the traders have filed their response with the Illinois Northern District Court.
According to documents filed by the Vorley and Chanu on June 11, 2021, and seen by FX News Group, the traders are pushing for sentences of time served.
The traders note that the DOJ, which pushes for a prison sentence of 57 to 71 months for each defendant, ignores several factors, including the history and character of the defendant and the types of sentences available; contemplates several unwarranted enhancements under Sentencing Guidelines (for example, the sophisticated means enhancement and the enhancement based on the number of victims); and mischaracterizes the nature and circumstances of the offense as compared to other cases.
The appropriate sentence here does not include imprisonment, the traders say.
Vorley notes, for example, he was a relatively junior trader who had learned his trade on the job, surrounded by more senior traders and compliance officers, and he was never once told that he was doing anything improper. At the time, Vorley says, neither he nor David Liew nor anyone else at Deutsche Bank thought they had to hide how they were trading from their supervisors, compliance, or the exchange, let alone law enforcement.
James Vorley explains that, over the ten years since the conduct of conviction, he has lost the career he loved, his ability to support his family, his good reputation, hundreds of thousands of dollars in deferred compensation, and the future he and his partner had planned for themselves and for their two young sons.
He still faces an enforcement action by the CFTC, which seeks a permanent trading and registration ban and significant civil monetary penalties.
Let’s recall that, in seeking the heavy prison term for the defendants, the DOJ said that Vorley and Chanu manipulated one of the world’s most important financial markets and defrauded other market participants for years. To boost their own trading profits and minimize their losses, they flooded the gold and silver futures exchange with billions of dollars of false orders.
The DOJ argued that the traders’ intent was to deceive other traders about the existence of genuine supply and demand, and push market prices in whatever direction benefited the defendants and their employer, Deutsche Bank. Their conduct was both deliberate and persistent, repeated thousands of times over five years, the DOJ notes.