AN ex Amaranth Advisors trader in natural gas futures contracts has avoided a U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission lawsuit with a $750,000 settlement.
Brian Hunter was head of the futures desk (2006) when the firm imploded with debts of $6.4 billion accrued from badly judged natural gas contracts.
The CFTC claimed Amaranth and Hunter manipulated natural gas futures contracts prices traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange in early 2006.
Both litigants avoided a series of expensive lawsuits by reaching agreed settlements with the Commission.
The CFTC trial was scheduled for 6 October after a U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruling (2013) that a separate agency, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, lacked jurisdiction to impose a $30 million fine on Hunter.
The firm's $7.5 million settlement of the CFTC and FERC allegations enabled it to avoid costly legal costs and fees for accusations leveled against it.
The hedge fund also settled a class action brought by futures traders, who cited market manipulation, with the firm disgorging another $77.1 million which must have vaporized faster than natural gas escaping into the ether.
Source: Reuters HedgeWorld