The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil action in the US federal court in New Jersey against Aleksandr Milrud, claiming that he engaged in a disruptive trading strategy known as “spoofing” or “layering” in connection with high-speed purchases and sales of various exchange-traded securities from January 2013 to the present. According to the SEC, Mr. Milrud—a Canadian citizen who resides in Ontario, Canada and has a residence in Aventura, Florida—used other traders—primarily in China and Korea—to place multiple “non-bona fide orders” for stocks to induce other traders to trade on one side of the market at “artificially inflated or depressed prices” and then cancel the orders. Mr. Milrud and the other traders engaged in this strategy to effectuate orders to purchase or sell the relevant security on the other side of the market, charged the SEC. To help avoid detection by regulators, Mr. Milrud allegedly instructed his traders to trade only high-volume securities, to manipulate a wide variety of securities (executing only a small number of trades in any one stock on any day), and to cause only small increases or decreases in the prices of the securities they manipulated, among other “elaborate measures.” The SEC claimed that Mr. Milrud “worked with a gaming software company to develop ‘hot keys’ that allowed his traders to quickly place and cancel multiple orders via their computers with only a few strokes of their keyboards.” Mr. Milrud also allegedly received a portion of all his traders’ profits. The SEC is seeking an injunction against Mr. Milrud and his traders, as well as a fine and disgorgement against him. Concurrently, Mr. Milrud was criminally charged with one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and one count of wire fraud before the US district court in New Jersey related to the same activity in an action brought by the US Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey.