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Man's lawsuit alleges Kraft manipulated wheat futures contracts

By Shaun Zinck | Apr 13, 2015

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A Texas man is suing a major food producer over claims the firm manipulated future prices of winter wheat.

Harry Ploss of Addison, Texas, filed the lawsuit through his trust on April 2 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against Kraft Foods Group, Inc. alleging the company manipulated the Chicago Board of Trade Chicago Soft Red Winter Wheat futures contract between Nov. 1, 2011, and Dec. 21, 2011.

The lawsuit claims the company caused the wheat prices to be artificially high compared to the March 2012 wheat futures and the Toledo cash market wheat prices. Ploss said he liquidated a spread position of the wheat prices in November 2011 and was opposite what Kraft's spread was.

The lawsuit claims Kraft had a “long position” of 15.5 million bushels of wheat in November 2011, which it “seriously distorted the prices” of. Ploss also alleges Kraft had control 2,110 long position contracts, which exceeds the lawful limit of 600 contracts.

Ploss is seeking class-action status for those that held positions on wheat futures contracts in December 2011. He is seeking an unspecified amount of damages.

Ploss is represented by Marvin A. Miller of Miller Law, LLC in Chicago, Illinois, and Christopher Lovell, Christopher M. McGrath and Amanda N. Miller of Lovell Stewart Halebian Jacobson, LLP of New York City.

United States District Court Northern District of Illinois case No. 1:15-cv-02937.

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