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RELEASE: pr7000-14

  • September 15, 2014

    Federal Court Orders Brian Hunter of Calgary, Alberta to Pay a $750,000 Civil Fine in CFTC Action Alleging Attempted Manipulation of Natural Gas Futures Prices during the Expiry on Two Trading Days

    Order also permanently bans Hunter from trading in the expiry in all CFTC-regulated products and from trading natural gas products during the daily close

    Washington, DC – The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced that it has entered into a consent Order settling charges brought against Brian Hunter, resident of Calgary, Alberta, for attempting to manipulate the price of natural gas futures contracts traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) during the expiry on February 24 and April 26, 2006.

    The federal court Order, entered on September 15, 2014, by the Honorable Ronnie Abrams of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, requires that Hunter pay a $750,000 civil monetary penalty. Additionally, the court’s Order permanently bans Hunter from trading in the settlement period for the last day of trading in all CFTC-regulated products and permanently bans Hunter from trading all CFTC-regulated natural gas products during the daily closing period. The Order further permanently prohibits Hunter from registering with the CFTC, or claiming exemption from registration.

    Consent Order arises from CFTC Complaint filed in July 2007

    The consent Order arises from a CFTC Complaint filed on July 25, 2007 (Commodity Futures Trading Commission v. Amaranth Advisors, L.L.C., et al., 07-cv-6682 (S.D.N.Y.)) (see CFTC Press Release 5359-07, July 25, 2007). In its Complaint, the CFTC alleged, among other things, that Defendants Amaranth Advisors, L.L.C. and Amaranth Advisors (Calgary) ULC (collectively “Amaranth”) and Brian Hunter attempted to manipulate the price of natural gas futures contracts traded on the NYMEX on February 24, 2006 and April 26, 2006. The CFTC previously settled all charges against Amaranth by consent Order entered on August 12, 2009, which ordered, among other things, that Amaranth pay a civil monetary penalty of $7.5 million (see CFTC Press Release 5692-09, August 12, 2009). The award announced today against Hunter, Amaranth’s former head energy trader and the sole remaining Defendant in the CFTC’s action, brings the total amount of monetary penalties in the case against all Defendants to $8.25 million.

    The CFTC thanks the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for its assistance.

    The CFTC staff members responsible for this matter include Elizabeth C. Brennan, Patryk Chudy, Sheila Marhamati, Michael C. McLaughlin, David Oakland, R. Stephen Painter, Jr., W. Derek Shakabpa, Chad Silverman, Lara Turcik, David W. MacGregor, Lenel Hickson, Jr., and Manal Sultan.

    Media Contact
    Dennis Holden
    202-418-5088

    Last Updated: September 15, 2014

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