Release Number 8267-20

CFTC Orders Sunoco to Pay $450,000 for Spoofing in Crude Oil, Gasoline, and Heating Oil Futures Contracts

September 30, 2020

— The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today issued an order filing and settling charges against Sunoco LP, a master limited partnership organized in Delaware and headquartered in Dallas, Texas, for spoofing—bidding or offering with the intent to cancel the bid or offer before execution.

The order finds Sunoco vicariously liable for the conduct of one of its former traders—who spoofed in certain energy futures markets—and requires the company to pay a $450,000 civil monetary penalty. This case is brought in connection with the Division of Enforcement’s Spoofing Task Force.

Case Background

According to the order, from at least February 2014 through January, 2015, Sunoco, by and through one of its former traders, engaged in multiple instances of the disruptive trading practice known as spoofing in futures contracts, including crude oil, gasoline, and heating oil futures that are traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The trading pattern, as found in the order, generally involved placing on one side of the market a genuine order with a small visible quantity that the trader wanted to get filled. The trader then placed on the opposite side of the market one or more larger orders—often for 50 or 100 lots—that the trader intended to cancel before execution. Generally, the trader canceled the larger order or orders shortly after placing them, often after the trader’s genuine order was filled.

The Division of Enforcement staff members responsible for this case are Neel Chopra, Jeff Le Riche, and Jason Wright.