Release Number 8467-21

Federal Court Sanctions Slovakian Trader and His Principals for Spoofing and Engaging in a Manipulative and Deceptive Scheme

December 08, 2021

— The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today announced the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois entered a consent order on December 7, resolving CFTC charges that Roman Banoczay Jr. (Banoczay Jr.) of Bratislava, Slovakia, as an agent of Roman Banoczay Sr. (Banoczay Sr.) and their company, BAZUR Spol. S.R.O. (BAZUR), engaged in spoofing and in a manipulative and deceptive scheme to defraud in the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) crude oil futures market in violation of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and CFTC regulations. 

The order imposes a $750,000 civil monetary penalty against Banoczay Jr., prohibits all three defendants from trading in commodity interests and registering with the CFTC in any capacity for two years, and requires them to cease and desist from violating the CEA’s prohibitions on spoofing and manipulative and deceptive schemes to defraud. The consent order resolves the CFTC’s complaint filed against the defendants on September 29, 2020.  [See CFTC Press Release No. 8261-20].

Case Background

The order finds that during a four-week period in early 2018, Banoczay Jr., on his own behalf and on behalf of Banoczay Sr. and BAZUR, repeatedly engaged in manipulative or deceptive acts and practices by spoofing (bidding or offering with the intent to cancel the bid or offer before execution) while placing orders for and trading crude oil futures contracts on the CME’s exchanges. Banoczay Jr. placed thousands of orders with the intent to cancel them in order to send false signals of increased buying or selling interest designed to trick market participants into executing the orders that he wanted filled. Although Banoczay Jr. was the only individual who placed and canceled these spoof orders, the court found that Banoczay Sr. and BAZUR are vicariously liable for Banoczay Jr.’s violations because Banoczay Jr. served as their agent and committed these violations within the scope of his agency. Banoczay Jr. was previously the subject of a disciplinary action brought by the CME Group, Inc. for the same underlying conduct (see Notice of Disciplinary Action NYMEX 18-0877-BC (eff. Mar. 23, 2020)).

The CFTC acknowledges and thanks the National Bank of Slovakia and the CME Group Inc. for their assistance in this matter.

The Division of Enforcement staff members responsible for this case are Brian Hunt, Daniel Jordan, Erica Bodin, Patrick Marquardt, Jordon Grimm, Rick Glaser, and former staff member Ilana Waxman.