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CFTC Fines Firm, Trader $400,000 for Alleged Oil Futures Manipulation

By Michael Calia

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission on Monday said it fined a trader and his former firm a combined $400,000 over alleged attempts to manipulate crude-oil futures.

The CFTC said in a news release it permanently banned Daniel Shak and SHK Management LLC from trading on crude-oil markets while issuing a two-year ban from trading any commodity during the close. Neither was immediately available for comment.


On two days in 2008, Mr. Shak and SHK Management allegedly attempted to manipulate prices of West Texas intermediate crude futures contracts during the closing, or settlement, period of the trading day by trading heavily on one side of the market, the CFTC said.

Mr. Shak and the firm allegedly were looking to profit on the favorable differential between the higher settlement of its large short position in the contracts and the lower prices at which they bought futures contracts, according to the CFTC.

The commission said Mr. Shak and another trader at SHK performed their trading strategy under pool controlled by SHK, while Mr. Shak also did it under a personal account.

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