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Former Precious Metals Trader Pleads Guilty to Attempted Commodities Price Manipulation

Department of Justice

Office of Public Affairs


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, July 25, 2019

A former precious metals trader at the New York offices of a U.S. bank and a Canadian bank pleaded guilty today to attempted price manipulation of precious metals futures contracts, announced Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Assistant Director in Charge William F. Sweeney Jr. of the FBI’s New York Field Office.

Corey Flaum, 41, of Mount Kisco, New York, pleaded guilty in the Eastern District of New York to an information charging him with one count of attempted commodities price manipulation.  Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 29, 2019, before U.S. District Judge Brian M. Cogan of the Eastern District of New York, who accepted his plea today.

According to admissions made as part of his plea and other statements made in court, between approximately June 2007 and July 2016, Flaum placed thousands of orders to manipulate the prices of gold, silver, platinum and palladium futures contracts traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange Inc. (NYMEX) and Commodity Exchange Inc. (COMEX), which are commodities exchanges operated by CME Group Inc.  Flaum routinely placed orders for precious metals futures contracts with the intent to cancel those orders before execution.  This trading strategy was intended to deceive other market participants about the existence of supply and demand, and to artificially move the price of precious metals futures contracts in a direction that was favorable to Flaum and the two banks for which he worked.

This case is the result of an ongoing investigation by the FBI’s New York Field Office. Trial Attorneys Avi Perry, Matthew F. Sullivan and Alexander Kramer of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section are prosecuting the case.  The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Division of Enforcement provided assistance in this case.

The defendant is cooperating with the ongoing investigation.

Individuals who believe that they may be a victim in these cases should visit the Fraud Section’s Victim Witness website for more information.Topic(s): Consumer ProtectionSecurities, Commodities, & Investment FraudComponent(s): Criminal DivisionCriminal – Criminal Fraud SectionFederal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)Press Release Number: 19-808Updated July 25, 2019

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