The self-taught UK trader who made millions in bogus trades and contributed to a brief 2014 crash in the US stock market has been sentenced to a year of home confinement.
But US prosecutors had recommended against jail time.
They said the judge should consider his “extraordinary cooperation” with the government and diagnosis with autism.
In Federal court in Chicago, Judge Virginia Kendall sentenced Mr Sarao to one year of supervised release with strict conditions, which limit his activities outside the home, according to a Bloomberg reporter who was in the courtroom .
“I hope that this is a lesson to you,” she reportedly said.
When the judge proposed a year of home incarceration initially, she was told that sentence might not be enforceable outside of the US.
Mr Sarao already spent four months in the UK’s Wandsworth Prison after his 2015 arrest. He has also forfeited about $ 7.6m (£ 5.8m) in illegal gains.
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“We’re incredibly grateful,” Mr Sarao’s attorney Roger Burlingame told the BBC. “He’s … looking forward to getting back to living his life.”
Mr Burlingame added that Mr Sarao was “overjoyed “to put the matter behind him, after” living under threat of a very long sentence “for almost five years.
US authorities say Mr Sarao made more than $ m between and 2016 trading from his childhood bedroom, including $ .8m tied to his illegal behavior.
Using specially programmed, high-speed software, Mr Sarao placed thousands of orders that he did not intend to fulfill, creating the illusion of market demand. When he cancelled or changed his bids, he was able to profit.