Datek Trading Scammers Fined

from the well,-it's-something dept

Unfortunately, this article doesn’t do much to explain exactly how this scam worked, but it seems that a bunch of former executives at Datek were using their own system and many completely fake accounts to fraudulently make money off of trades. They’ve now agreed to pay fines totallying $70 million dollars. As far as I can tell, they did some sort of real-time arbitrage move, taking advantage of market makers who didn’t update their prices in the system rapidly enough – allowing the fraudulent Datek accounts to make quick trades for easy money. Update: The NY Times has more details on both the scammers and the scam.

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Comments on “Datek Trading Scammers Fined”

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thecaptain says:

this sucks.

What really sucks about this is that while they got fined 70 million bucks, these fatcats made a LOT more than this AND they don’t admit to doing anything wrong.

I guess its true that justice can be bought now.

Lessee, figure out how to scam people and the market for about 100 or 200 million…get caught, settle and agree to pay back 80 million (wooo..big fine)…net profit, 20 to 120 million…not bad for a scam wouldn’t you say?

The people who are in charge of nailing these guys and companies should 1) categorically refuse any settlements and 2) seek mandatory jail time for any and all offenders.

No pay backs, no walking away rich…bull. Get these rich conmen to do hard time for a few years and walk away with NO assets, then you’ll see this sort of bull dramatically reduce itself.

ggruschow says:

No Subject Given

You’re almost certainly right, they were probably doing computer controlled real-time arbitrage via SOES. Note that arbitrage is legal and is actually a good thing for markets (it makes them more liquid and have more efficient prices).

The part against the rules is that SOES = Small Order Execution System, and they look like they were putting in large orders by dividing the order across hundreds of “nominee” accounts (“nominee” meaning someone they paid to use their name). That’s illegal.

It’s like if Walmart sent shoppers to all the Best Buy’s in the country and bought all the walkmans when Best Buy had a walkman sale. SOES allows that to happen in a blink of an eye with virtually no cost to send all those “shoppers” out, so if Best Buy mispriced the walkmans for even a moment, they’d get raped. Hence, it’s against the rules.

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