Ex-DBS Vickers trader Dennis Tey gets 16 weeks' jail for spoofing Singapore stock market

Ex-DBS Vickers trader Dennis Tey Thean Yang pleaded guilty earlier this month to eight of the 23 charges he faced related to his attempt to artificially move prices through fraudulent securities orders.
Ex-DBS Vickers trader Dennis Tey Thean Yang pleaded guilty earlier this month to eight of the 23 charges he faced related to his attempt to artificially move prices through fraudulent securities orders.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - Ex-DBS Vickers trader Dennis Tey Thean Yang was sentenced to 16 weeks in prison on Wednesday (March 22) for spoofing the securities market in the first case brought jointly by the Monetary Authority of Singapore and white-collar crime police.

Tey was granted bail of S$80,000 by District Judge Jasvender Kaur pending an appeal against his sentence.

Tey, 33, pleaded guilty earlier this month to eight of the 23 charges he faced related to his attempt to artificially move prices through fraudulent securities orders. A broker at DBS Vickers Securities (Singapore) when the offences were committed in late 2012 and 2013, he was also charged with misusing other people's trading accounts without consent.

He could have been jailed for up to seven years and fined up to S$250,000 for each charge, or both.

Spoofing refers to the practice of price manipulation by entering and cancelling large buy or sell orders in the market to give a false impression of market conditions.

  • Background Story

  • What is spoofing?

    In financial markets, spoofing" is an illegal bluffing tactic traders use to manipulate prices of stocks or other products by entering and quickly canceling large buy or sell orders. 
    For example, a trader with a position in a stock places an anonymous buy order for a large number of shares through an exchange or trading platform and then cancels it seconds later. The price of the stock will immediately jump, giving the impression of high demand, which draws others into buying the stock, allowing the manipulator to sell at a higher price. 
    In the case of ex-DBS Vickers trader Dennis Tey, he sought to manipulate prices of so-called contracts for differences (CFDs), where investors can profit from the price fluctuations of underlying assets without actually owning them. 
    After purchasing the CFDs, he would make fake orders in the underlying securities which he would then delete.

According to court papers, Tey sought to manipulate prices of so-called contracts for differences (CFDs), where investors can profit from the price fluctuations of underlying assets without actually owning them.

After purchasing the CFDs, he would make fake orders in the underlying securities which he would then delete.

To carry out his scheme, Tey used three securities and 2 CFD accounts opened in the names of his parents and clients. He engaged in trading on 50 days within a period of 2 months from Oct 24, 2012, to Jan 8, 2013.

He entered 465 orders through the securities accounts and 325 trades through the CFD accounts to make a total profit of S$30,239.

Tey, a Malaysian, who left DBS Vickers in March 2014, was arrested in May 2015 and charged in July last year.

His case is the first pursued jointly by MAS and the police's Commercial Affairs Department since they banded together in March 2015 to probe market misconduct as part of Singapore's efforts to step up policing of its financial industry.