On September 14, the CFTC and Defendants Kraft Foods Group, Inc. and Mondelēz Global LLC (Kraft) filed motions for summary judgment in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The CFTC filed a motion for summary judgement on Count III (speculative position limit violations) and Count IV (wash sales, fictitious sales, and non-competitive trading). According to the CFTC, Kraft exceeded the 600-contract speculative position limit for wheat futures on nine days in the December 2011 wheat futures contract traded on the Chicago Board of Trade, and Kraft engaged in thirty-three Exchange of Futures for Physical transactions between 2010 and 2012 that constituted wash sales and caused non-bona fide prices to be reported.
Kraft argues that there is no genuine issue of material fact as to an essential element of the CFTC’s market manipulation claim because the CFTC cannot prove that Kraft sent a false signal that deceived the market. In addition, Kraft asserts that there is no record evidence from which a reasonable jury could conclude that Kraft’s conduct influenced prices. With respect to the position limit claim (Count III), Kraft argues that it fails because the CME provided Kraft a valid exemption from those limits. Finally, Kraft claims that the non-competitive trading claim (Count IV) fails for multiple reasons, including that offsetting Kraft’s own positions was not a wash sale or fictitious sale because it negated no market risk to Kraft.