Jury Selection, Opening Statements Set for Chicago Traders
CHICAGO (AP) _ Jury selection began Monday in the federal fraud and racketeering trial of 10 soybean traders from the Chicago Board of Trade after an 11th defendant pleaded guilty to reduced charges.
Meanwhile, federal prosecutors prepared to deliver opening statements Tuesday in a similar trial involving 14 Japanese yen traders from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
In both cases, the defendants are accused of cheating customers while executing their orders on the exchanges’ trading floors.
Soybean trader Scott Anixter, 41, pleaded guilty Monday to four misdemeanor counts of commodity law violations. He had been charged with three counts of mail and wire fraud and 10 counts of violating the Commodities Exchange Act.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Ira Raphaelson said Anixter would testify against his colleagues along with eight other soybean traders who have pleaded guilty to charges.
The charges stem from an unprecedented undercover investigation in which FBI agents posed as corrupt traders and secretly tape-recorded conversations among traders at the world’s two largest commodity exchanges.
A federal grand jury indicted 48 people in connection with the probe. Twenty have pleaded guilty and one pleaded no contest.
In the first trial to result from the investigation, a U.S. District Court jury in July convicted two Swiss franc traders of relatively minor trading violations and acquitted a third.
The jury could not reach verdicts on scores of more serious charges, including a racketeering count against one of the three defendants. The men are scheduled to be tried again on those charges early next year.