The United States Attorney’s Office in Chicago requested last week that the judge presiding over the criminal trial of Michel Coscia impose the maximum sentence recommended by applicable guidelines against Mr. Coscia of between 70 and 87 months in prison while Mr. Coscia’s counsel argued for a lesser term of between no more than 4 to 10 months imprisonment. (Last November, Mr. Coscia was convicted of six counts of commodities fraud and six counts of spoofing in connection with his trading activities on CME Group exchanges and ICE Futures Europe from August through October 2011 following a seven-day trial and approximately one hour of jury deliberation. (Click here for details regarding this conviction in the article, “Jury Convicts Michael Coscia of Commodities Fraud and Spoofing” in the November 8, 2015 edition of Bridging the Week.)) In making this recommendation, the government dismissed arguments made on behalf of Mr. Coscia, that he should be sentenced to a shorter term. Mr. Coscia’s counsel had argued that a lesser sentence was warranted because at the time of his purported breaches the text of the relevant law prohibiting spoofing did not provide any “reasonable guidance for identifying—or avoiding—prohibited conduct;” the nature of his trading was not unusual compared to other traders; and he already has sustained significant punishment for his offenses, through substantial fines, disgorgement of profits and a one-year trading suspension on any CME Group exchange. The government urged the presiding judge to reject Mr. Coscia’s arguments, noting that “[t]his Court now has the opportunity to send a message, loud and clear, that our financial markets operate on principles of honesty and transparency, and do not allow a select few traders to profit in the trading markets through illegal bait and switch schemes at the expense of other traders.”