In April, a team of White Collar Defense & Special Investigations attorneys at Greenberg Traurig, LLP secured an acquittal in a criminal conspiracy trial in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut alleging manipulation of commodity prices through spoofing. Marc L. Mukasey, practice co-chair and shareholder Nathan J. Muyskens led the trial team.
In the case, U.S. v. Flotron, 3:17-cr-00220 before The Honorable Jeffrey Alker Meyer, the jury found former UBS AG trader Andre Flotron not guilty on the charge of conspiring to commit commodities fraud by manipulating prices of futures contracts for gold, silver, and metals using trick orders – also known as spoofing.
In the trial’s closing arguments Mukasey argued the government’s case was a “prosecution by statistics,” that there was no collaboration needed to sustain a conspiracy charge, and that the government failed to present a single document where Flotron had agreed to spoof. He also urged jurors to discount the government’s two cooperating witnesses.
The trial, which began on April 16, 2018, was only the second ever in the U.S. involving criminal spoofing allegations. This is the first ever acquittal in such cases. The client faced up to 25 years if convicted.
“In a case about trading gold, we got the most precious verdict,” Mukasey said.
This was the second win for the client in 2018. In February, Judge Meyer threw out three spoofing and three commodities fraud counts against Flotron, ruling they were brought in the wrong venue, leaving just the conspiracy count at trial.
In addition to Mukasey and Muyskens, the trial team included Greenberg Traurig shareholders Daniel P. Filor and Robert S. Frenchman, and associates Kedar S. Bhatia, Daniel E. Clarkson, Kate E. Olivieri, and Sarah M. Mathews.