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Press Release

Former Wall Street Precious Metal Traders Sentenced for Wire Fraud

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

Two former Wall Street traders were each sentenced today to one year and one day in prison for engaging in a multi-year fraud scheme to manipulate U.S. commodities markets for publicly traded precious metals futures contracts.

According to court documents, Edward Bases, 61, of New Canaan, Connecticut, a former senior trader employed at Deutsche Bank and Bank of America in New York, and John Pacilio, 59, of New York, a former senior trader employed at Bank of America and Morgan Stanley in New York, fraudulently pushed market prices up or down by placing large “spoof” orders in the precious metals futures markets that they did not intend to fill. Bases and Pacilio did so to manipulate prices for their own gain and the banks’ gain, and to defraud other traders on the Commodity Exchange Inc. and the New York Mercantile Exchange Inc., both of which are exchanges run by the CME Group Inc.

Bases and Pacilio also taught other traders how to engage in the practice of spoofing. As a result of Bases and Pacilio’s scheme, other market participants were induced to trade at prices, quantities, and times that they otherwise would not have traded.

On Aug. 4, 2021, Bases and Pacilio were convicted at trial of conspiracy to commit wire fraud affecting a financial institution and multiple counts of wire fraud affecting a financial institution. Pacilio also was convicted of commodities fraud.

Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Assistant Director Luis Quesada of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division made the announcement.

The FBI New York Field Office investigated the case.

Deputy Chief Avi Perry, Assistant Chief Scott Armstrong, and Trial Attorney John J. Liolos of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section prosecuted the case.

Updated March 9, 2023

Financial Fraud
Securities, Commodities, & Investment Fraud
Press Release Number: 23-269