Jitesh Thakkar

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Jitesh Thakkar
JiteshThakkar.jpg
Occupation President and Founder
Employer Edge Financial Technologies
Location Chicago
LinkedIn Profile
Website www.edgefinite.com

Jitesh Thakkar is the founder and president of Edge Financial Technologies.[1] Thakkar has over 15 years of technical experience in the futures and options industry. He has developed and delivered algorithmic trading systems, order routing systems and high frequency low latency systems. His experience also includes Exchange Connectivity/Gateways to multiple asset classes.

Background

Before founding Edge Financial Technologies, Thakkar held positions at UBS, Trading Technologies, Stafford Trading, TD Securities and Anderson Consulting. [2]

Spoofing Case

In January of 2018 the CFTC filed charges against Thakkar and Edge Financial Technologies for aiding and abetting spoofing and for a manipulation scheme in the E-mini S&P futures contract on the CME. The case connected Thakkar to Navinder Sarao, who was arrested in connection with the so-called flash crash in 2010 and pleaded guilty in November 2016 on one count of wire fraud and one count of spoofing.[3] [4]

The indictment alleged that Thakkar and his co-conspirators developed a customized software program they then used to engage in spoofing.

In August 2018, the Illinois District Court refused to dismiss the indictment against Thakkar.[5]

In April 2019, the US v. Jitesh Thakkar case was brought to trial in the US District Court. The five-day trial ended in a hung jury on two instances of aiding and abetting Sarao on spoofing in 2013. Another charge of conspiracy was thrown out by Judge Robert Gettleman, who called the government's case "thin." The heart of Thakkar's case was that he was simply hired by Sarao to provide a trading system, which was then used to manipulate the markets. Thakkar's attorney Renato Mariotti argued that the two men never met, and that Thakkar could not have known that Sarao was going to use the software for illegal trading. Thakkar, who was paid $24,500 for his services, did not share in any profits from Sarao's trading.[6][7][8][9][10][11]

Following the trial, the government dropped its charges against Thakkar on April 23, 2019, opting not to retry the case.[12][13]

The case was considered important to the financial technology industry, as it could set legal precedent on liability for the creation of trading technology.

Education

Thakkar has a BS in Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Five Minutes

February 2011

Resources

John Lothian News Articles

US v Jitesh Thakkar: Waiting for the Denouement

According to Merriam Webster, the (second) definition of “denouement” is “the outcome of a complex sequence of events.” On Monday, April 8, the twelve members of the jury in the trial (surely “a complex sequence of events”) of Jitesh Thakkar for allegedly aiding and abetting Navinder Sarao’s 2013 spoofing of the CME’s E-mini S&P 500 futures heard final arguments and retired to deliberate.

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Hung Jury in Trial of us VS Thakkar

The trial of Jitesh Thakkar for aiding and abetting two instances of spoofing - which were executed by the convicted mega spoofer Navinder Sarao, whom Thakkar never met - ended Tuesday afternoon at about 4:30 when Judge Robert Gettleman dismissed the hopelessly locked jury.

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A “Computer Guy From Naperville”: Closing Arguments in US v Thakkar

Closing arguments in the trial US v Thakkar took place Monday in a long morning for the jury, lasting about three hours. After the charge of conspiracy to spoof was dismissed by Judge Gettleman last week, Jitesh Thakkar still faces two charges of aiding and abetting the commission of a crime, for two separate occasions, February 25 and March 8, 2013.   

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Defense rests in a “thin” case against Jitesh Thakkar

In a move that surprised the courtroom, the defense in the trial of U.S. v Jitesh Thakkar rested its case shortly before 1:00 p.m. on Thursday afternoon. Thakkar’s attorney, Renato Mariotti, had called no witnesses in his defense.

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Data Day in the case of U.S. v. Jitesh Thakkar

In an abbreviated third trial day, the U.S. Department of Justice rested its case against Jitesh Thakkar and Edge Financial Technologies. Thakkar is on trial for allegedly facilitating the criminally fraudulent spoofing trading of Navinder Sarao, who pleaded guilty to two criminal counts related to his spoofing of E-mini S&P futures in the first half of this decade.  

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US v Thakkar: “MasterChief” Day

The second day in US v Jitesh Thakkar and Edge Financial Technology began Tuesday morning with defense attorney Renato Mariotti’s cross examination of Navinder Sarao, the prosecution’s headline witness. Sarao, a cooperating witness, is awaiting sentencing for convictions on two criminal charges in a separate case, which could include up to 30 years jail time. The government is waiting to see how cooperative (effective?) Sarao turns out to be as a supporting player on Team USA and will condition his sentencing recommendations on his cooperation. Finishing up a few hours of cross examination, Mariotti struggled a bit to flesh out Sarao’s role as the mastermind. Sarao, for his part, struggled not to show impatience with the tedium of these proceedings that are so important for him and his prospects for freedom. Thakkar, the defendant, took notes and looked on.

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US v. Jitesh Thakkar: An Exercise in Justice

April 1, 2019 was the first day in the criminal trial U.S. v Thakkar, in which the government charges that Jitesh Thakkar aided and abetted spoofing in a manipulative and deceptive scheme carried out by another person. It is a serious allegation and everyone is taking it seriously. There are four prosecuting and three defending attorneys. If things run as scheduled, yesterday was just the first of a half-dozen or so days of testimony and arguments as the Federal Government endeavors to right the wrongs allegedly perpetrated by Jitesh Thakkar, president of Edge Financial Technologies, a software development firm that programs applications for the trading industry.

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References

  1. Jitesh Thakkar. Edge Financial Technologies.
  2. Jitesh Thakkar. Edge Financial Technologies.
  3. Flash-crash trader helps US in fight against market abuse. FT.
  4. CFTC Files Eight Anti-Spoofing Enforcement Actions against Three Banks. CFTC.gov.
  5. Illinois Court refuses to dismiss indictment against software developer in spoofing conspiracy case. Finance Feeds.
  6. US v. Jitesh Thakkar: An Exercise in Justice. John Lothian News.
  7. Hung Jury in Trial of US v Thakkar. John Lothian News.
  8. US v Thakkar: “MasterChief” Day. John Lothian News.
  9. Defense rests in a “thin” case against Jitesh Thakkar. John Lothian News.
  10. Data Day in the case of U.S. v. Jitesh Thakkar. John Lothian News.
  11. A “Computer Guy From Naperville”: Closing Arguments in US v Thakkar. John Lothian News.
  12. ‘Flash Crash’ trader fails to help feds bring conviction in spoofing case. Chicago Sun-Times.
  13. Feds drop case against Naperville programmer. Crain's Chicago Business.