Three financial institutions were fined after employees were caught 'spoofing.'

This is no spoof, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission is serious about curbing illegal financial activity.

The government agency levied fines of $30 million for Deutsche Bank (DBS - Get Report) , $15 million for UBS (UBS - Get Report) and $1.6 million for HSBC (HSBC) for using an illegal trading technique known as "spoofing."

Spoofing entails placing buy and sell orders with the intent of canceling the orders before they officially go through. The orders create the illusion of demand, distorting prices in a way that benefits the trader's position. 

All three financial institutions cooperated with the CFTC's probe. 

Additionally, the Justice Department said Monday that it charged eight individuals with crimes related to deceptive trading practices, including seven who used the spoofing technique. 

The people named in the Justice Department's charges ranged in age from 30 to 55 and worked all across the world. Six of the individuals were named in both the Justice Department and CFTC charges. 

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