Poker Player Dan Shak Settles COMEX-Spoofing Accusation for $750K

Posted on: April 14, 2024, 06:31h. 

Last updated on: April 14, 2024, 06:35h.

High-stakes poker player Dan Shak has agreed to pay $750K to federal regulators to settle an accusation that he spoofed the gold and silver markets on the Commodity Exchange Inc. (COMEX).

Dan Shak, COMEX, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, CFTC
Dan Shak claims he was confident he would have prevailed at trial but didn’t want the hassle of a lengthy and costly lawsuit. (Image: REG)

“Spoofing” refers to the illegal practice of placing bids on commodities with the intent to cancel before execution in order to manipulate the market.

Shak was sued by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in August 2022 in a civil lawsuit that alleged he had engaged in “manipulative or deceptive acts.” From February 2015 through March 2018, he placed large orders for gold or silver futures that he had no intention of closing, according to the CFTC.

At the same time, he entered genuine orders on the opposite side of these markets, the lawsuit claimed.

Market Ban

The poker player “knew or was reckless to the fact that his Spoof Orders would send false signals of supply and demand into the market and would deceive or trick other market participants,” per the CFTC.

Under the terms of the settlement, Shak agreed not to deny the allegations but also not to admit to them. He is also prohibited from having any commodity interests traded on his behalf and soliciting, receiving, or accepting any funds from anyone for the purpose of selling commodities.

While I am confident I could have prevailed at trial, I have concluded the right decision for my family and me is to resolve this matter with no admission of wrongdoing and without the cost, delay, and distraction of protracted litigation,” Shak said in a statement issued to PokerNews via his lawyer.

“I was an active trader making millions of trades per year, and the CFTC’s allegations relate to a small fraction of trades that allegedly occurred from 2015 to 2018,” he added.

Previous Violations

In 2013, Shak paid a $400K fine to the CFTC for trying to manipulate the price of light sweet crude oil futures contracts on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX). He was banned from trading outright futures contracts for two years. Just under two years later, he was fined $100,000 for violating that ban.

Shak has around $11.7 million in gross tournament earnings, according to the Hendon Mob Database. He is the founder and former principle of hedge fund SHK Management. He currently described himself on his LinkedIn page as a “self-employed commodities trader.”

Shak hit the headlines in 2012 when he sued his ex-wife, the poker player Beth Shak, claiming he was unaware of her $1 million shoe collection at the time of their divorce three years prior.

Dan claimed Beth hid her collection of 1,200 designer shoes from him, “possibly using a secret room” in their former $7.5 million Manhattan apartment. Had he known about the expensive footwear, he may have had to pay out less in the divorce settlement, he lamented.

“He is saying he didn’t know the closet in our master bedroom existed,” Beth told The New York Post.