Matt Levine, Levine on Wall Street: Wash Trades and Themed Cabanas, here.
According to Finra, Wedbush ignored red flags and “delegated virtually all reviews of post-trade activity for potentially manipulative wash trades by market access customers to one poorly-trained, unlicensed employee who, in turn, was charged with training another compliance analyst.” So I guess the answer to the question “do layering and spoofing actually happen?” is, sure, yes.
So you have a question on elementary quadratic forms and elliptic curves, then you say get me the complianace guy to explain this? I’m thinking of a movie , like the Expendables, where all the broker dealer compliance guys form a team to figure out unsolved mysteries, like Bones/CSI/House. It could happen, the movie, I mean. They would certainly read this blog, in the movie.