BD and Its Clients Will Pay $3 Million for Order Layering and Other Violations
A broker-dealer and its clients will pay nearly $3 Million, and agreed to individual industry bars, for paying/receiving illegal brokerage commissions and manipulating markets by layering orders. The SEC charges the registered broker-dealer for aiding and abetting securities law violations by ignoring red flags that commissions paid to a registered representative were shared with his third party firm and his partners that were neither licensed nor registered. The SEC also charged that one of the individuals used a layering strategy – using non bona fide contra-orders to generate counterparty interest – to manipulate the market and earn greater trading profits.
OUR TAKE: This may be the beginning of the SEC bringing market manipulation cases in the wake of the growing probes into high frequency and flash trading. Also, it is noteworthy that the SEC is holding the broker-dealer accountable for actions of its clients.