Flash crash trader takes plea bargain, cops to 'spoofing' and wire fraud

Navinder Sarao's bond set at $750,000 as family offers properties as collateral

Man in an orange jumpsuit clutches prison bars. Image by Shutterstock
Image by Shutterstock

Navinder Sarao, the British trader accused of causing a "flash crash" from his parents' home in London, has pleaded guilty to wire fraud and illegal market manipulation.

The indictment against Sarao alleged that he had committed 22 counts of fraud, which included "spoofing" – illegally manipulating the market by flooding the Chicago Mercantile Exchange with bogus orders.

From his parents' gaff in Hounslow, Sarao is alleged to have caused a market crash on 6 May 2010, which sliced almost $1tn off the value of US shares.

Sarao had initially sought to appeal against being extradited, although this was turned down earlier this month when Lord Justice Gross determined that his case "does not come close to satisfying the statutory test. The Forum Bar challenge to extradition accordingly has no reasonable prospect of success."

The 37-year-old bedroom trader had faced 380 years in prison as the combined maximum sentences for the 22 charges against him.

Sarao will pay the US government $12.8m, which is what prosecutors say he earned from his mischief. He will be released on a $750,000 bond, and his family members have offered up their properties as collateral to this agreement, and after sentencing Sarao will return to the UK. ®

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