Action against Defendant, a purported commodity trading advisor, for allegedly soliciting clients under false names and without properly registering with the CFTC. The CFTC alleges that Defendant solicited clients via Craigslist ads, telephone, and email, while making false and misleading statements concerning his trading successes and guaranteed profits.
Action against Respondent, a registered Futures Commission Merchant, for alleged failure to supervise the implementation of critical provisions of its information systems security program. According to the CFTC, this failure left customer records and information vulnerable and allowed third party access to files including customer personally identifiable information. Respondent has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $100,000, and to an undertaking requiring follow-up reports related to its cybersecurity efforts.
SEC Chairman Jay Clayton and CFTC Chairman Christopher Giancarlo testified before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee on regulatory and enforcement efforts in connection with Bitcoin and other virtual currencies. Both officials suggested that a broader, coordinated effort to monitor and regulate these currencies was necessary. Chairman Giancarlo stated: “It strikes me that we owe it to this new generation to respect their enthusiasm about virtual currencies with a thoughtful and balanced response, ... Continue Reading
Action against Respondent for an alleged attempt to manipulate the U.S. Dollar International Swaps and Derivatives Association Fix benchmark (ISDAFIX). The CFTC alleges that Respondent’s traders attempted to manipulate the benchmark by strategically bidding, offering, and executing transactions in targeted interest rate products at or near the rate fixing time. The CFTC further alleges that Respondent’s traders attempted to manipulate the final published rate by submitting false rates. Respondent has agreed to pay a civil ... Continue Reading
Action against Respondent for alleged spoofing of precious metals futures products. Respondent has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $1.6 million and an undertaking to maintain adequate spoofing surveillance and training programs.
Action against Respondent for allegedly attempting to manipulate the price of precious metals futures contracts using manual spoofing techniques and trading for the purpose of triggering customer stop-loss orders. The CFTC alleges that traders on Defendant’s precious metals desk, acting in a coordinated manner, placed spoof orders and exchanged messages soliciting others to engage in spoofing and regarding their successes in manipulating the markets. The CFTC further alleges that Defendant failed to adequately supervise its ... Continue Reading
Action against Respondent for allegedly attempting to manipulate the price of precious metals futures contracts using several manual spoofing techniques and trading for the purpose of triggering customer stop-loss orders. Respondent self-reported the issue following an internal investigation and has agreed to pay a $15 million civil penalty and an undertaking to maintain adequate spoofing surveillance and training programs.
Action against Defendant trader at a proprietary trading firm, for alleged spoofing of the E-mini futures contract markets.
Action against Defendants, a computer programmer and the electronic trading software developer that he founded, for alleged aiding and abetting of spoofing the E-mini futures contract markets. According to the CFTC, Defendants designed a custom trading software application to facilitate spoof orders.
Action against Defendant, a former trader at a proprietary trading firm, for alleged spoofing in the E-mini Nasdaq 100 futures contract markets on the CBOT and CME.
Action against Defendants, two traders, for alleged spoofing of precious metals futures contracts. In addition, the CFTC alleges that Defendants taught another trader on their precious metals desk how to engage in spoofing.
The Eleventh Circuit held as a matter of first impression that a settlement between a self-regulatory organization (the National Futures Association or NFA) and Defendants did not preclude a subsequent CFTC action brought on the basis of the same action. The court found that equitable estoppel does not apply to a CFTC action where the Defendant entered into a settlement with a self-regulatory organization because (1) the settlement was with a private, nongovernmental organization, (2) ... Continue Reading
Action against Defendants, a corporation and its principal, for an alleged scheme to solicit money and digital currencies in exchange for advice regarding trading virtual currencies and for the purpose of virtual currency purchasing and trading. The CFTC alleges that Defendants made these solicitations over the Internet and then shut down their web site and misappropriated investor funds once they had been received.
Action against Defendants, a corporation and its principal, for allegedly soliciting at least $1.1 million worth of Bitcoin to participate in a pooled investment vehicle for trading commodity interests. The CFTC alleges that, instead of using investor funds to purchase binary options contracts as promised, Defendants diverted the funds to pay other customers and personal expenses. According to the CFTC, Defendants also made inaccurate reports of returns to customers and later attempted to conceal losses ... Continue Reading
Action against Defendant trader for alleged spoofing in the precious metals futures markets over a period of five years. The CFTC also alleges that Defendant taught another trader on his precious metals trading desk how to engage in spoofing.
Action against Defendants, a corporation and its two principals, for allegedly making misleading statements in connection with solicitation of customers for a virtual currency. The CFTC alleges that Defendants made inaccurate statements in their solicitation materials regarding the value, usage, trade status, and backing of their virtual currency. The CFTC further alleges that Defendants misappropriated nearly all of investors’ funds to finance personal expenses.
Action against Defendants, a corporation and its two principals, for allegedly fraudulently soliciting and accepting at least $750,000 from investors for the purpose of trading commodities futures in pooled investments. The CFTC alleges that the Defendants made misleading statements to investors regarding how their funds would be invested and the profitability of those investments, issued false account statements containing misrepresentations regarding the value of investments in the pool, and diverted participants’ funds for personal uses. ... Continue Reading
Action against Defendants, a company and its owners, for alleged fraudulent off-exchange precious metals transactions. According to the CFTC, Defendant’s precious metal sales to retail customers were illegal off-exchange transactions because their customers did not qualify as Eligible Contract Participants and Defendant company did not itself acquire and store financed metal of behalf of its customers or deliver precious metals to any customers as required. In addition, the CFTC alleges that Defendant owners misrepresented or ... Continue Reading
Action against Defendants, two companies and their owners, for alleged fraud in connection with the offer and sale of futures trading strategies and systems. According to the CFTC, Defendants misrepresented the profitability of their trading strategies, falsely represented the Defendant owner’s credentials as a successful and experienced professional trader, and misrepresented that profitable trades in live accounts had occurred. Defendants have agreed to pay $3,941,157 in restitution and a civil penalty of $1,000,000.
The CFTC released its annual report reviewing its enforcement actions during fiscal year 2017. The report states that the Commission brought 49 enforcement enforcement-related actions and obtained orders totaling $412,726,307 in restitution, disgorgement, and penalties. The CFTC also issued new cooperation guidelines and new rules to protect whistleblowers, in an effort to strengthen its enforcement program. Of the 49 enforcement actions, 20 involved retail fraud, followed by twelve actions involving market manipulation, seven involving reporting ... Continue Reading
Action against Defendants, a company and its owners, for alleged fraudulent solicitation of at least $1.6 million to operate a commodity pool and misappropriating approximately $1.25 million of customers’ funds for their own benefit. Defendants also allegedly issued false account statements to customers to conceal their fraud and failed to disclose a prior disciplinary history with the CFTC and the State of California. The CFTC further alleges that Defendant company acted as a Commodity Pool ... Continue Reading
Action against Respondents, a registered Futures Commission Merchant and its affiliate, for allegedly reporting non-bona fide prices to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The CFTC also alleges that Respondent affiliate failed to implement an adequate supervisory system for the execution, handling, and reporting of exchange for related position transactions. Respondent has agreed to pay a $280,000 civil monetary penalty.
Action against Respondent, an oil company, for allegedly attempting to manipulate propane markets in order to benefit its financial and physical propane positions. The CFTC alleges that Respondent sought to manipulate the Argus Far East Index (“FEI”) in order to benefit its NYMEX-cleared over-the-counter swaps that settled to the Argus FEI. In addition, Respondent allegedly executed propane purchases in the Far East market at strategic times to place upward pressure on the Argus FEI. Respondent ... Continue Reading
Action against Defendants, a company and its owner, for fraudulent solicitation of at least $1.8 million from approximately 112 commodity pool participants. Defendants allegedly solicited pool participants by claiming that their funds would be placed in separate accounts and traded by experienced traders. Instead, according to the CFTC, the Defendants misappropriated pool participants’ funds to pay for corporate and personal expenses and cover withdrawal requests of other clients. Defendants have agreed to pay $1,487,964.45 in ... Continue Reading