Ex-Moore Trader Probed For Attempted Market Manipulation

Aug 23 2010 | 12:39pm ET

Almost four months after Moore Capital Management paid $25 million to settle attempted market manipulation charges, the previously unidentified portfolio manager at the heart of the case is unidentified no more.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the Moore man accused of trying to force the price of platinum and palladium futures contracts up in 2007 and 2008 is Christopher Pia, the hedge fund’s former head trader.

With the Moore case resolved, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission is now focusing on Pia, trying to determine if he did, in fact, try to “bang the close” on the metals futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The CFTC believes Pia was motivated to do so to boost both Moore’s returns and his own pay, the Journal reports.

Moore founder Louis Bacon forced Pia out in late 2008, after the CFTC probe began and the regulator questioned Pia. The New York-based hedge fund giant also settled charges that it failed to properly supervise its trading operations, but notes that no one other than the previously unidentified trader has been accused of any wrongdoing.

Pia has since gone on to found his own hedge fund, Pia Capital Management. The Greenwich, Conn.-based firm has about $500 million in assets under management.


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