Jitesh Thakkar is the founder and president of Edge Financial Technologies. 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.
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. 
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.
In April 2019, the US v. Jitesh Thakkar case was brought to trial by the US Department of Justice 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. The hung jury count was 10 to acquit and 2 guilty votes. 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.
At the end of the trial, Thakkar filed a motion for acquittal on conspiracy which was granted by the court. The Department of Justice dropped its charges against Thakkar on April 23, 2019, opting not to retry the case.
The case was considered important to the financial technology industry, as it could set legal precedent on liability for the creation of trading technology.
Thakkar has a BS in Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
John Lothian News Articles
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
JLN News Feed
Nasdaq Announces Mid-Month Open Short Interest Positions in Nasdaq Stocks as of Settlement Date May 15, 2020
We visit more than 100 websites daily for financial news (Would YOU do that?). Read the John Lothian Newsletter.