Moore Settles Market Manipulation Charges

Apr 30 2010 | 1:06pm ET

Moore Capital Management has settled charges that a former portfolio manager attempted to manipulate the metals market.

The New York-based hedge fund agreed to pay $25 million to the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. According to the regulator, a Moore portfolio manager sought to manipulate the price of platinum and palladium futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange in 2007 and 2008. The CFTC says the portfolio manager, reportedly Christopher Pia, “banged the close” to force the price of the contracts up.

“Neither Moore Capital’s principals nor its current management were involved in any improper trading, and none have been accused of any wrongdoing,” Moore said in a statement.

Pia left the firm in 2008 and founded his own hedge fund, Pia Capital.

Moore cooperated with the CFTC, which also rapped the firm for failing to supervise Pia. In addition to the fine, the regulator has restricted Moore’s commodity pool operator and commodity trading advisor registrations for three years, and will be restricted from trading 15 minutes before the close of the palladium and platinum markets.

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