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Addison woman sentenced to 8 months for fraud

Published: Thursday, July 17, 2014 5:20 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, July 25, 2014 4:34 a.m. CDT

ADDISON – An Addison woman was sentenced Wednesday to eight months in prison after being convicted in March of commodities fraud, according to a U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois news release.

Nicole M. Graziano, 33, of Addison and formerly of Roselle, who manipulated trades to profit more than $200,000 for herself, also was ordered to pay $212,000 in restitution to various clearing firms on behalf of victim investors, the release stated.

Graziano’s scheme resulted in an “almost unbelievable success rate” of 90 to 100 percent of winning trades for her own account, which would have been impossible in an ordinary market setting, Judge James Zagel said when he delivered his verdict, according to the release.

According to the evidence, Graziano, who was a clerk for a member broker at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, now CME Group, secretly inserted order tickets for her own personal orders into the decks of tickets submitted by public customers, the release stated.

Between September 2009 and August 2010, Graziano submitted at least 89 fraudulent trade cards to the appropriate clearing firms, resulting in about $212,000 in illegal profits to her during the closing bracket, according to the release.

Zagel said the scheme damaged “the legitimacy of the exchange itself” and hurt customers because she took away benefits that could have gone to them for her own advantage, the release stated.

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