A Houston energy investment firm has been fined $1.5 million by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission for trading against its own customers.
Classic Energy LLC, which has office in Houston’s West End neighborhood, is alleged to have taken large orders for natural gas futures from customers and then turned around and bought opposing financial positions, earning profits of more than $400,000.
“This form of misconduct undermines trust and confidence in vital futures markets and it will not be tolerated,” said CFTC Enforcement Director James McDonald. “The commission will continue to vigorously pursue those who misappropriate confidential information, for personal benefit.”
Classic Energy did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday afternoon.
The firm’s owner, Matthew Webb, is accused of making more than 60 illegal trades through his personal trading account in 2014 and 2015.
In addition to the fine, Webb has been banned from trading until January 2022 and ordered to repay his more than $400,000 in profits.
This article first appeared on the Houston Chronicle – an Energy Voice content partner. For more from the Houston Chronicle click here.