The US Government had extradited Jiongsheng “Jim” Zhao some time back. The Australian trader had spoofing charges laid out against him. As his time in the court is steadily drawing closed, various parties involved within the case has started to file memoranda regarding sentencing.
Served During The Court Case
The Illinois Northern District Court had received various documents, showing that the US Government has urged for sentencing totaling into a full year and a day’s prison time. Of this imprisonment time, a credit will be given for time already spent within the US and Australian prison systems.
The Government did a few calculations, determining that Zhao had spent 302 days within the prison, both within Australia and the US. The starting point was determined to be the 29th of January, 2018. Further calculations determined the full sentencing that should be enacted, factoring in the good conduct time that was still due to Zhao. In the end, the results accrued to 356 days of prison time total. Remove that from the days he had already spent, and it would leave him with ten additional days to serve on the sentencing.
A Small Refresher
As the Government explained, the exact circumstances and nature of Zhao’s offense warrant the recommended sentencing. For four years, Zhao had engaged in a complicated spoofing scheme, engaging in fraudulent and manipulative trading activities. These trading activities had a ripple effect, impacting hundreds of other market participants who were deceived into trading at worse prices for Zhao’s personal gain. These market participants either bought for prices higher than they could have, or sold for lower than they could have, thanks to Zhao’s spoofing activities.
While the profits directly attributed to the spoofing is rather small in Zhao’s case, it’s more a matter of the spoofing’s far-reaching effects to the many other participants in the market. Zhao had placed thousands of orders into the market, making hundreds of market participants buy and sell at artificial prices.
Cooperation Urges Reduced Sentencing
When the inevitable confrontation happened between Zhao and the CME due to this unlawful trading, Zhao opted to lie to try and cover up his spoofing activities. It went to such a degree that he leveraged his attorney to serve as a conduit, conveying false information to the CME by using the attorney as a mouthpiece.
A key factor to Zhao’s lessened sentencing his cooperation, having started only shortly after he was extradited to the US from Australia. He provided valuable information regarding ongoing investigations being done by the Government.