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CFTC Brings (and Settles) Its First Insider-Trading Case

Implications for all private fund managers

The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission recently settled its first-ever insider-trading case, relying on new powers granted to it under the Dodd-Frank Act and embodied in CFTC Regulation § 180.1 (“Rule 180.1”).

This development should be examined closely by all private fund managers that trade or engage in transactions that include “commodity interests” (i.e., futures, options on futures and related swaps), irrespective of whether they are registered with the CFTC and irrespective of whether they are trading for their own account or for clients. Among other things, managers should consider extending the scope of their current insider-trading protection efforts to commodities interest trading and broadening their personal trading disclosure requirements and review practices to cover commodity interest trading.

CFTC sanctions

The CFTC brought this action against Arya Motazedi, a proprietary gasoline and energy trader at an unnamed public company in Chicago. According to the CFTC, Motazedi had access to confidential, proprietary information concerning his employer’s proprietary trading in energy commodities (e.g., timing, amounts and prices) and he used that knowledge:

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