Release Number 8781-23

CFTC Orders California Resident to Pay $300,000 for a Fictitious Sales Scheme

September 22, 2023

Washington, D.C. — The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today issued an order simultaneously filing and settling charges against Jie “Elaine” Yu of Irvine, California, for engaging in a fictitious sales scheme. The order requires Yu to pay a $300,000 civil monetary penalty, cease and desist from further violations of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and CFTC regulations, as charged, and it imposes six-month trading and registration bans.

Case Background

The order finds that in October and November 2021, Yu engaged in a series of illegal transactions on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) involving 33 non-competitive, fictitious sales of 410 futures contracts. Through this illegal scheme, Yu transferred at least $159,000 to her cousin, “Trader A” of Shanghai, China. 

The order states Yu and Trader A worked in tandem, closely coordinated their trading, and synchronized their fictitious sales by communicating in real time about their bids and offers. The order also finds Yu intentionally entered orders during periods of low overall trading volume with the express purpose of finding and matching Trader A’s opposite orders on CME’s Globex platform. The order finds Yu intentionally engaged in this trading activity that lacked both price competition and market risk for the sole purpose of passing funds to Trader A’s account. By engaging in this conduct, Yu violated the fictitious sales provisions of the CEA and CFTC regulations. 

The CFTC thanks the CME Group for its assistance in this investigation.

The Division of Enforcement staff responsible for this case are Jennifer Blakley, Dmitriy Vilenskiy, Chrystal Gonnella, Lauren E. Bennett, A Daniel Ullman II, and Paul G. Hayeck.