On June 14, 2021, Matthew Webb, a former energy broker from Texas entered a plea agreement with federal prosecutors for his role in a kickback and insider trading scheme, in which he admitted to conspiring with others to engage in prearranged trades in natural gas futures contracts based on material, nonpublic information provided by co-conspirators who were part of the scheme. Webb also admitted to sharing the profits from the fraudulent trades with other members of the scheme, and planned to falsely document certain proceeds as income on IRS forms in order to disguise the payments as legitimate income and ultimately conceal the true nature of the funds. According to court documents, Webb also paid kickbacks to an energy trader and co-conspirator from commissions received from the co-conspirator’s employer, in exchange for the employer directing business to Webb’s brokerage.
Webb personally made $585,000 for his role in the scheme that generated proceeds in excess of $5.9 million. Under the settlement, Webb pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit commodities fraud and wire fraud and other violations of various provisions of the Commodity Exchange Act. His sentencing is currently scheduled for September 20, 2021.