CHICAGO – A British futures trader has pleaded guilty during his first U.S. court appearance since helping to trigger a 2010 "flash crash" from his parents' suburban London home that wiped billions of dollars off the value of U.S. stocks.
Navinder Singh Sarao stood in a Chicago courtroom Wednesday with his legs shackled as a judge asked if he understood the consequences of pleading guilty, including that he could face 30 years in prison. The 37-year-old answered quietly, "Yes, your honor."
High frequency traders such as Sarao use programs to buy and sell in milliseconds, scooping up quickly-accumulating profits. They were the focus of Michael Lewis' best-selling book "Flash Boys."
Sarao pleaded guilty to wire fraud and spoofing under a plea deal. If he cooperates, prosecutors would ask for a reduced sentence.