DFA and two former execs hit with $12 million penalty

WASHINGTON — Dairy Farmers of America, its former chief executive officer, Gary Hanman, and its former chief financial officer Gerald Bos will pay a $12 million civil monetary penalty for attempting to manipulate the Class III milk futures contract and exceeding speculative position limits in that contract.

The settlement was announced Dec. 16 by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Additionally, Frank Otis, former president and CEO of a DFA subsidiary, and Glenn Millar, former executive vice president of the subsidiary, will pay $150,000 for aiding and abetting DFA’s speculative position limit violation.

Must be monitored

According to CFTC Acting Director of Enforcement Stephen J. Obie, the enforcement action also ensures future compliance with federal commodities laws through the imposition of a monitor.

“Given the severity of the past misconduct, we are pleased that DFA has committed to reform its trading practices,” Obie said.

“Settling this matter will allow us to focus wholly on serving our members and moving the Cooperative forward,” said DFA President and CEO Rick Smith. “We have fully cooperated with the CFTC’s investigation and wanted to put this matter behind us.”

Manipulation

The commission’s DFA order finds that, from May 21 through June 23, 2004, DFA, Hanman, and Bos attempted to manipulate the price of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s (CME) June, July, and August 2004 Class III milk futures contracts through purchases of block cheddar cheese on the CME Cheese Spot Call market.

Additionally, the DFA order finds that on several days in 2004, DFA’s speculative Class III milk futures contracts exceeded the CME’s speculative position limit, in violation of the Commodity Exchange Act.

A separate order against Otis and Millar finds that they aided and abetted DFA’s speculative position violation by directing trading of Class III milk futures in an internal sub-account designated for a DFA subsidiary.

In addition to imposing civil penalties, the DFA order bars Hanman and Bos from trading futures for five years.

It also bars DFA from engaging in speculative trading for two years and DFA must retain a monitor to review its trading activities on the CME during that period.

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