CFTC Fraud Actions

CTFC The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is the United States agency charged with regulating futures and options markets trading in commodities ranging from oil to cotton, corn to pork bellies, and precious metals to foreign currencies.

Created in 1974 (and with a history reaching back to the 19th century), the CFTC’s mission is to ensure an open, competitive, and financially safe environment for these markets, and to protect consumers from fraud and abuse related to derivatives and swaps contracts.

In July 2010, in response to the 2008 financial crisis, Congress enacted the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. One important feature of this legislation was the establishment of a CFTC whistleblower program. This whistleblower program encourages those with knowledge of violations of the commodities laws to share this information with the CFTC by providing both monetary rewards and protection against retaliation by employers.

Below are summaries of the most recent enforcement actions litigated by the CFTC. If you believe you have information about commodities fraud, please click here to contact one of our experienced attorneys.


November 2016

November 17 — U.K. resident Navinder Singh Sarao was ordered to pay over $38 million in sanctions and disgorgement to settle allegations that he unlawfully manipulated trading of the E-mini S&P near month futures contract, including on the Flash Crash Day.  CFTC

November 16 — IB Capital FX, LLC (a/k/a IB Capital FX (NZ) LLP) d/b/a IB Capital, Michel Geurkink, and Emad Echadi, were ordered to pay $35 million in restitution to defrauded customers and a $420,000 civil monetary penalty for soliciting and accepting at least $50 million from approximately 1,850 customers for off-exchange margined retail foreign currency trading without being registered with the CFTC.  CFTC

October 2016

October 19 — The Yorkshire Group, Inc. and its principal Scott Platto were ordered to pay over $1.5 million in penalties and restitution for engaging in an illegal off-exchange precious metals transaction scheme.  CFTC

October 12 — The CFTC charged Kimball Parker of Lehi, Utah and his company MakeYourFuture, LLC, as well as Timothy Baggett of Lakeland, Florida and his companies Changes Worldwide LLC and Changes Trading LLC, with fraud and failure to make advertising disclosures regarding a futures trading system they sold to customers.  CFTC

October 4 — The CFTC filed a civil enforcement action against Jody Dupont of Anderson, South Carolina, and his company, Open Range Trading LLC, with fraudulently soliciting clients to subscribe to a commodity futures day-trading system, called the Open Range Trading System, and other ancillary trading services that they marketed and sold to clients.  CFTC

September 2016

September 30 — The CFTC charged Joseph Dufresne (a/k/a Joseph James) and Megan Renkow (a/k/a Megan James), both of Palos Verdes Estates, California, and their company, United Business Servicing, Inc. (d/b/a/ SchoolofTrade.com), with fraudulently marketing commodity futures trading strategies and systems.  CFTC

September 30 — The CFTC filed a civil enforcement action against Alcibiades Cifuentes and Jennifer Wee Cifuentes, both of West New York, New Jersey, and Cifuentes Fund Management, LLC, alleging the defendants engaged in an off-exchange, leveraged or margined retail foreign currency fraud, commodity pool fraud, and failed to register with the CFTC.  CFTC

September 29 — Angus Partners LLC (d/b/a Angus Energy), a Florida limited liability company with its principal place of business in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, was ordered to pay a $250,000 civil monetary penalty for acting as an unregistered Commodity Trading Advisor and for violating certain disclosure rules applicable to such advisors.  CFTC

September 29 –The CFTC ordered Aden Rusfeldt (a/k/a “Big A”) of Vail, Arizona, to pay over $3.2 million in penalties and restitution for failing to disclose to prospective and current customers of his company, ETF Trend Trading, that he was prohibited by court order from engaging in any commodity-interest related activities.  CFTC

September 29 — The CFTC filed a civil enforcement action against Thomas C. Lindstrom, of Winnetka, Illinois, alleging that he perpetrated a scheme to inflate the value and profitability of his options position and lie about the quantity of options and the risk associated with his position in order to defraud his employer, proprietary trading firm Rock Capital Markets, LLC, into paying him $285,000 in draws to which he was not entitled. According to the complaint, Lindstrom’s scheme caused Rock Capital to incur more than $13.9 million in losses and caused the collapse of the firm in early 2015.  CFTC

September 29 –The CFTC ordered Jon P. Ruggles of Orlando, Florida, to disgorge over $3.5 million in trading profits and to pay a $1.75 million penalty for engaging in fraudulent, fictitious, and noncompetitive trades in crude oil and heating oil futures and options and RBOB gasoline futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange.  CFTC

September 28 — The CFTC filed a complaint against eFloorTrade, LLC and its majority owner and sole principal John Moore, charging them with record keeping and supervision failures and charging Moore with making false and misleading statements of material fact, or omitting material facts, in sworn testimony before the CFTC.  CFTC

September 28 — SG Americas Securities, LLC, successor to Newedge USA, LLC, a financial services firm registered with the CFTC as a Futures Commission Merchant, was ordered to pay a $750,000 penalty and undertake internal control procedures for participating in unlawful wash trades and for failing to diligently supervise employees over a three and a half year period.  CFTC

September 27 — The CFTC filed a civil enforcement action against Kevin Michael Symons of Foothill Ranch, California, his wholly-owned company, FTS Financial, Inc. of Irvine, California, and Jerry Austin Simmons of Charlotte, North Carolina, charging them with the fraudulent promotion of Simmons’ “Real Time Trade Room,” an online futures “trading” forum marketed by Defendants as a way to observe Simmons as he purported to trade futures contracts “live.” Additionally, the CFTC’s complaint charges Simmons with soliciting clients to open managed futures trading accounts without being registered with the CFTC as an Associated Person of a Commodity Trading Advisor.  CFTC

September 27 — The CFTC ordered Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. to pay a $400,000 penalty for inaccurate large trader reports for physical commodity swap positions.  CFTC

September 27 — Advanced Trading Workshop, Inc. of Jamesville, New York, agreed to pay $940,000 in penalties and disgorgement to resolve allegations that it fraudulently solicited clients to purchase access to an online trading room and failed to register with the CFTC as a Commodity Trading Advisor.  CFTC

September 22 — Barclays Bank PLC agreed to pay $500,000 to settle charges that it failed to create, maintain, and promptly produce required confirmations for metals and energy Exchange for Related Position trades.  CFTC

September 22 — The CFTC filed an enforcement action against Jamal Y. Vance and All City Investments, LLC, charging them with solicitation fraud in connection with off-exchange foreign currency transactions and with failure to register as Commodity Trading Advisors.  CFTC

September 21 — The CFTC ordered Chicago-based Advantage Futures LLC, its CEO Joseph Guinan, and former Chief Risk Officer William Steele to pay a $1.5 million penalty for supervision and risk management failures and making inaccurate statements in filings with the CFTC.  CFTC

September 20 — The CFTC filed a civil enforcement action against Florida-based Defendants KB Concepts Group, LLC (d/b/a) Apex Asset Advisors, LLC, and Kelvin Burgos, alleging that they engaged in illegal, off-exchange transactions in precious metals with retail customers on a leveraged, margined, or financed basis.  CFTC

September 20 — Raja Michael Mawad and his company, RNS Holdings LP, a Texas corporation headquartered in Houston, Texas, agreed to pay more than $389,000 to settle charges that they engaged in fraud upon participants in a commodity pool they operated and for failing to file required annual reports.  CFTC

September 19 — The CFTC ordered JSC VTB Bank, headquartered in St. Petersburg, Russia, and VTB Capital PLC to pay a $5 million penalty for executing fictitious and noncompetitive block trades in Russian Ruble/U.S. Dollar (RUB/USD) futures contracts.  CFTC

September 14 — Grace Elizabeth Reisinger of Grand Island, Nebraska, was found liable by jury verdict for  fraudulently soliciting at least $2.75 million from investors in a commodity pool scheme.  CFTC

September 12 — A federal court in North Carolina ordered James A. Shepherd and his company, James A. Shepherd Inc. to pay more than $15 million in penalties and restitution for engaging in a commodity pool fraud scheme.  CFTC

September 7 — The CFTC filed a civil injunctive enforcement action against Fan Wang a.k.a. Alex Wang, a Chinese national who resides in Short Hills, New Jersey, charging Wang with making false reports in connection with commodity futures contracts he purchased for his employer’s proprietary trading account.  CFTC 

September 1 — The U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada ordered My Global Leverage, LLC, which did business in Las Vegas, Nevada, and its owner and managing member Toney Blondo Eggleston, who resided in Las Vegas and Newport Coast, California, to pay over $1.4 million in penalties and restitution for engaging in illegal, off-exchange precious metals transactions.  CFTC

September 1 — The CFTC announced that a trial against Robert Escobio of Miami, Florida, and his companies Southern Trust Metals, Inc. and Loreley Overseas Corporation, has resulted in a final judgment requiring defendants to pay almost $2.5 million in restitution and penalties for engaging in a precious metals scheme and an unregistered futures scheme.  CFTC

August 2016

August 22 — Irina Feldman, Cindium Inc., and Einstein Exchange Group Inc. agreed to pay more than $600,000 to settle charges of committing solicitation fraud and misappropriation in connection with operating a commodity pool that offered foreign currency and commodity futures transactions, and for failing to register with the CFTC as Commodity Pool Operators.  CFTC

August 18 — Forex Capital Markets, LLC was charged with undercapitalization, failure to timely report that undercapitalization violation, and guaranteeing against customer losses.  CFTC

August 18 — The CFTC filed a complaint in the Southern District of New York charging Deutsche Bank AG with multiple swap reporting violations, failing to supervise its employees responsible for swap data reporting, and violating a prior CFTC order.  CFTC

August 17 — The CFTC filed a civil enforcement action against Mirko Schacke of Antioch, California, and his company, TradeMasters USA, LLC, of Las Vegas, Nevada, charging them with fraudulently soliciting over $150,000 from at least 36 investors in connection with the purchase of futures trading software.  CFTC

August 16 — Steven A. Cohen of Greenwich, Connecticut was issued a notice of intent to revoke, suspend or place restrictions on his registration by the CFTC for failing to adequately supervise an employee to ensure that employee was not engaged in insider trading.  CFTC

August 15 — The CFTC obtained a summary judgment order requiring Robert S. Leben and Amy L. Leben of Columbia, South Carolina, to pay over $10 million in penalties and restitution for misappropriating pool participant funds and failing to register as commodity pool operators, among other charges.  CFTC

August 12 — The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida ordered International Monetary Metals, Inc., a Florida corporation, and its controlling person, Martin Sommers to pay almost $10 million in disgorgement and a civil monetary penalty for engaging in illegal, off-exchange precious metals transactions and registration violations.  CFTC

August 12 — Ralph Metters, formerly of Los Angeles, California, was ordered to pay $1 million in penalties and disgorgement in connection with operating an off-exchange foreign currency fraud scheme.  CFTC

August 9 — The CFTC filed an enforcement action charging Frank J. Collins of Garden Grove, California, Gerard Suite of Irvine California (a.k.a. Rawle Gerard Suite, Jerry Suite, and Jerry Snead), and their Delaware limited liability company, STA Opus NR LLC, with fraudulently soliciting $1.6 million from at least 30 customers to operate a commodity pool and misappropriating approximately $1.25 million of customers’ funds for their own benefit.  CFTC

August 4 — The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia ordered Hendrik A. Van Beuningen and his company, DeBrink Trading Fund I, LLC, to pay a $430,000 civil monetary penalty and restitution of $480,000 to settle charges of fraud, misappropriation, and registration violations in connection with their operation of a commodity pool.  CFTC

August 4 — Barclays Capital, Inc., a Connecticut corporation headquartered in New York City, agreed to pay $800,000 to resolve charges that it failed to diligently supervise the processing of exchange and clearing fees it charged customers for trading and clearing Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Inc. products.  CFTC

August 3 —Jonathan A. Parker and QuantX Capital, LLC, both of Marietta, Georgia, were ordered to pay over $1 million in penalties and restitution for committing fraud and misappropriation in connection with operating a commodity pool that offered leveraged or margined off-exchange foreign currency transactions.  CFTC

August 2 — The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois ordered John D. Briner, a disbarred Canadian attorney residing in Abbotsford, Canada, and his former law firm, MetroWest Law Corporation, located in Vancouver, Canada, to pay a $280,000 penalty for engaging in a money pass scheme.  CFTC

August 1 — Ghassan Tawachi of Irvine, California, and his firm, Intelligent Trades, LLC, a Florida limited liability company, were ordered to pay almost $1.5 million in penalties and disgorgement for defrauding clients through the operation of a fraudulent commodity futures software trading system.  CFTC

July 2016

July 28 — The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois ordered Vault Options, Ltd. and Global Trader 365, two Israeli web-based binary options firms, to pay over $4.5 million in penalties and restitution for unlawful off-exchange binary options trading, fraud, and registration violations.  CFTC

July 14 — Atlantas Group, Inc. and its sole owner and president, Edmund Hysni, of Waterford, Michigan, agreed to pay $7.2 million in restitution and penalties to resolve allegations that they engaged in solicitation fraud and made false statements to the National Futures Association in connection with its investigation of the alleged fraud.  CFTC

July 11 — Agrocorp International Pte Ltd., a commodities trading and distribution company headquartered in Singapore, agreed to pay a $150,000 penalty to resolve charges that it failed to disclose its call cotton purchases and sales.  CFTC

July 11 — Golden Agri International Pte Ltd., a private limited company formed in Singapore that operates as a processor and trader of crude palm oil, which it hedges with soybean oil futures contracts, agreed to pay a $150,000 penalty to resolve charges that it failed to report its cash positions.  CFTC

July 7 — The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois entered a consent order requiring Matthew Marcus of California and his company, Tech Power Inc., a Nevada corporation located in California, to pay a $250,000 penalty for instigating a money pass scheme involving more than 1,200 single stock futures trades.  CFTC

July 6 — Barclays Bank PLC agreed to pay a $560,000 penalty to resolve charges that it failed to submit accurate large trader reports for physical commodity swap positions.  CFTC

July 5 — The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida ordered Dorian Garcia and his companies, DG Wealth Management, Macroquantum Capital LLC, UKUSA Currency Fund, and Quanttra LP, all of Naples, Florida, to pay nearly $17.5 million in restitution, disgorgement, and penalties for fraud, misappropriation, and operating a Ponzi scheme.  CFTC

June 2016

June 28 — The CFTC filed a lawsuit against Alvin Guy Wilkinson, of San Juan, Puerto Rico, and his limited partnerships Chicago Index Partners, L.P. and Wilkinson Financial Opportunity Fund, L.P., both located in Sharon, Connecticut, alleging they fraudulently solicited over $6.9 million from at least 30 investors and misappropriated at least $5.2 million of investors funds.  CFTC

June 22 — The CFTC obtained a default judgment ordering Dante Giovannetti and his companies Emini Experts LLC and Capital Trading Concepts LLC to pay over $2.7 million in penalties and restitution for commodity pool fraud and other violations.  CFTC

June 20 — The CFTC obtained a default judgment against Ryan Magee, his father David Magee, and Ryan’s wife Dalyne Rae Magee, all of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, in connection with a commodity pool fraud that victimized United States and Canadian participants; the order requires the defendants to pay over $3.2  million in restitution, disgorgement, and penalties.  CFTC

June 20 — The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida ordered Harvard Assets LLC, London Assets Inc., and Harvard International Trading, Inc., all based in Florida, and their controlling person, Todd Owen Marshall, with a last known address in Deerfield Beach, Florida, to pay over $2.4 million in disgorgement and penalties for engaging in illegal, off-exchange precious metals transactions and registration violations.  CFTC

June 7 — The CFTC announced it has filed charges against Jeffrey Slemmer of Acton, Massachusetts, Christian Dorrian of Boynton Beach, Florida, and Adam Roth of Boca Raton, Florida, and their Florida companies Slemmer Enterprises LLC, Dorrian Enterprises, LLC, and Roth Investment Group LLC for engaging in a $2.7 million precious metals and rare diamonds fraud scheme.  CFTC

June 3 — Rico Omar Cox (a.k.a. Omar Negron) of Dania Beach, Florida, has been ordered to pay $381,000 in restitution and a $560,000 civil monetary penalty for defrauding his clients in connection with commodity futures trading.  CFTC

June 3 — The CFTC charged Haena Park and her companies Phaetra Capital GP LLC, a/k/a/ Argenta Capital GP LLC, Phaetra Capital Management LP, a/k/a Argenta Capital LLC, and Argenta Group LLC, for engaging in a $23 million scheme to fraudulently operate a commodity pool and misappropriate pool participants’ assets.  CFTC

June 2 — The CFTC ordered Hong Kong-based bitcoin exchange, BFXNA Inc. d/b/a Bitfinex to pay a $75,000 penalty for offering illegal off-exchange financed retail commodity transactions in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, and for failing to register as a Futures Commission Merchant.  CFTC

May 2016

May 26 — The CFTC ordered Cypress Wealth Management, Inc. and its former owners and operators, Ted L. Romeo of Pompano Beach, Florida, and Richard D. Schrutt of Tampa, Florida, to pay over $530,000 in penalties and restitution on charges that they illegally offered off-exchange financed transactions in precious metals to retail customers.  CFTC

May 25 — David Bryant of Los Angeles was ordered to pay over $6 million in penalties and restitution on charges of fraud and misappropriation.  CFTC

May 25 — The CFTC ordered Citibank and its Japanese affiliates to pay a $175 million penalty for attempting to manipulate the Yen LIBOR and Euroyen TIBOR rates and false reporting of the Euroyen TIBOR and U.S. dollar LIBOR rates.  CFTC

May 25 — The CFTC ordered Citibank to pay $250 million for attempting to manipulate and falsely report the U.S. dollar ISDAFIX benchmark rate.  CFTC

May 9 — The CFTC ordered Cunningham Commodities, LLC, based in Chicago, Illinois, and its head accountant, Salvatore Carmen Russo, to pay a penalty of $150,000 for failing to immediately report a customer’s segregated account deficiency.  CFTC

April 2016

April 12 — The CFTC ordered Nathan Schleifer of New York City and his company Galileo Trading LLC to pay over $1.6 million in restitution and penalties for fraudulently soliciting customers to trade commodity futures and repeatedly making numerous false statements and material misrepresentations to the National Futures Association regarding their trading practices.  CFTC

April 12 — Brian Hinman agreed to pay over $1 million in penalties and disgorgement to settle charges that he aided and abetted Kevin White’s Texas-based entities’ RFF GP, LLC and KGW Capital Management, LLC, in a scheme that fraudulently solicited participants in a foreign currency exchange pool named Revelation Forex Fund, LPCFTC

April 5 – Michael Pucciarelli of Staten Island, New York, and Badge Trading LLC, will pay a $280,000 civil monetary penalty for non-competitively entering into and reporting numerous non-bona fide exchanges of physicals transactions to ICE Futures U.S., Inc. and ICE Clear U.S., Inc.  CFTC

April 5 – A federal court has ordered UAE residents Heet Khara and Nasim Salim  to pay $2.69 million in civil penalties for spoofing in the gold and silver futures markets.  CFTC

March 2016

March 31 — The CFTC filed a civil enforcement action against Hendrik A. Van Beuningen of Brookhaven, Georgia, and his company, DeBrink Trading Fund I, LLC of Atlanta, Georgia, alleging fraud, misappropriation, and issuing false statements in connection with a commodity pool they operated.  CFTC

March 25 — The CFTC has filed charges against Virginia resident Tracy Lee Thomas and his firm based in the Cayman Islands Marbury Advisors Inc. with allegations of fraudulently soliciting more than $1.2 million in a commodity futures scheme.  CFTC

March 23 — JPMorgan Ventures Energy Corp. and JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.  have agreed to pay a $225,000 penalty to resolve charges of failing to comply with their obligations to submit accurate large trader reports for physical commodity swap positions.  CFTC

March 22 — A federal judge for the Southern District of Iowa ordered Alabama resident John David Stroud and his companies to pay over $4.7 million in restitution and penalties for committing commodity pool fraud and misappropriation of funds.  CFTC

March 22 — The CFTC has ordered payment of penalties of $665,000 by Credit Suisse International for violating speculative position limits for wheat futures and by Credit Suisse Securities LLC for submitting false or misleading information to the CFTC.  CFTC

March 15 — The CFTC announced that a federal district court has unsealed a civil complaint the CFTC filed with the Northern District of Illinois on February 2, 2016, against two foreign web-based binary options firms, Vault Options, Ltd. and Global Trader 365, both Israeli web-based companies. The CFTC’s complaint alleges that the two firms unlawfully solicited and accepted more than $1 million from at least 50 U.S. customers to trade off-exchange binary options contracts, defrauded those customers, and operated as unregistered Futures Commission Merchants.  CFTC

March 14 — The CFTC ordered Florida-based IBFX, Inc. to pay a $1 million penalty for failing to meet capital requirements, failing to report minimum net capital violations on time, supervisory failures, and violating a previous CFTC order.  CFTC

March 9 — The CFTC ordered CHS, Inc. and CHS Hedging, LLC  to pay $1 million for inaccurately reporting positions in corn and soybeans.  CFTC

March 9 — A Las Vegas court ordered Banc de Binary Ltd., ET Binary Options Ltd., BO Systems Ltd., BDB Services Ltd., and Oren Shabat Laurent to pay over $9 million in penalties and restitution for violating the CFTC’s prohibition against trading binary options off-exchange.  CFTC

February 2016

February 24 — The CFTC filed charges against Florida resident Neil Pecker and his company, Vision Financial Partners, LLC, alleging they engaged in fraud in connection with off-exchange binary options and registration violations.  The CFTC complaint alleges that the defendants solicited almost $3 million from over 120 clients in the U.S. and Canada while misappropriating almost $2 million of the funds for their personal use.  CFTC

February 22 — The CFTC sued North American Asset Management, LLC of Fort Lauderdale, Florida; its owner and president Alexi Bethel of Miami, Florida; and its owner and managing director Steven Labadie of Lake Worth, Florida. The CFTC complaint charges the defendants with engaging in illegal, off-exchange transactions in precious metals with retail customers on a leveraged, margined, or financed basis.  CFTC

February 19 — The CFTC filed a civil enforcement action against Ryan S. Magee of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, with fraud and also with acting as a Commodity Pool Operator, without being registered with the CFTC, as required.  The CFTC complaint also charged Ryan Magee’s father and wife, David W. Magee and Dalyne Rae Magee, also both Calgary residents, with acting as Associated Persons of Ryan Magee, without being registered with the CFTC, as required.  CFTC

February 9 — A federal court ordered Cindy Vandivier and Paul Vandivier of Coconut Creek, Florida to pay almost $3 million in penalties and restitution to settle CFTC charges of fraudulently soliciting customers and misappropriating customer funds in connection with illegal, off-exchange transactions in precious metals.  CFTC

February 8 —  4X Solutions, Inc. and its principal, Whileon Chay, both of New York City, were ordered to pay over $10 million in penalties and disgorgement in connection with a foreign currency Ponzi scheme.  CFTC

February 5 — The CFTC filed a civil injunctive anti-fraud enforcement action against Rico Omar Cox of Dania Beach, Florida, alleging that between August 2010 through March 2015, Cox fraudulently solicited his trading services for managed commodity futures accounts, and lost most of the $499,000 he traded for or on behalf of at least nine clients. CFTC

February 4 — A federal court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida ordered Robert Tripode of Boynton Beach, Florida to pay over $300,000 in penalties and restitution in connection with his fraudulent activities in the Forex market as an employee and agent of Forex Monthly Income Fund (FMIF), a commodity pool based in Miami, Florida.  CFTC

February 4 — The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida ordered Worth Group Inc. of Jupiter, Florida, its owner and operator, Andrew Wilshire of Jupiter, Florida, and Wilshire’s sister, Eugenia Mildner also of Jupiter, Florida, who served as Worth’s sole officer and director prior to February 2012, to pay restitution of $1,250,000 and a civil monetary penalty of $1,250,000 as sanctions for engaging in an illegal off-exchange precious metals scheme.  CFTC

February 3 — The CFTC filed a civil injunctive action against Oakmont Financial, Inc. of Boynton Beach, Florida, and Joseph Charles DiCrisci of New York, New York, an Oakmont owner and principal, alleging that the defendants engaged in illegal, off-exchange transactions in precious metals with retail customers on a leveraged, margined, or financed basis.  CFTC

January 2016

January 20 — The CFTC announced that it filed a civil enforcement action charging Kevin J. Davis of Ponca City, Oklahoma with acting as an unregistered commodity pool operator, failing to operate his commodity pool as a separate legal entity, accepting funds from pool participants in his own name, and commingling pool participants’ funds with his own.  CFTC

January 13 — Otkritie Capital International, Ltd., a London-based financial services company, agreed to pay a $140,000 penalty to settle charges that it violated CFTC Regulation 30.4 by permitting two of its U.S. customers to trade futures and options in foreign markets while not registered as a futures commission merchant.  CFTC

January 13 — The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois entered a default judgement order against Nikolai S. Battoo, BC Capital Group S.A., BC Capital Group International Limited, and BC Capital Group Holdings S.A. on charges that they operated a global commodities futures and option fraud scheme, requiring the defendants to pay $294,246,741 in restitution, a $147 million civil penalty, and to disgorge $49 million received as ill-gotten gains.  CFTC

January 7 — The CFTC filed a complaint against Ghassan Tawachi (a/k/a Marco Tawachi) and his firm, Intelligent Trades, LLC, alleging the defendants fraudulently marketed commodity futures trading software, under which Tawachi indirectly controlled the trading of his customers’ commodity futures accounts and collected substantial fees for the use of his trading software. In all, the defendants allegedly defrauded clients of over $479,755.  CFTC

December 2015

December 18 — J.P. Morgan Chase Bank agreed to pay $100 million in penalties and disgorgment to settle allegations that it failed to disclose its preferences for investing client funds in certain investment vehicles.  CFTC

December 10 — Thomas Gillons, of Napa County, California, was ordered to pay a $1 million civil penalty and $994,068 in restitution on charges of fraud and misappropriation.  CFTC

December 7 — The CFTC settled charges against Total Gas & Power North America, Inc. and Therese Tran, accusing them of manipulation of natural gas monthly index settlement prices at four major trading hubs in Texas and elsewhere in the southwest during monthly settlement periods known as “bid-week;” the defendants will pay a $3.6 million penalty. CFTC

December 7 — Garen Ovsepyan of Glendale, California, and his companies Sharpe Signa, LLC and Haeres Capital, LLC have agreed to pay a $70,000 penalty to settle charges that they made false statements to the CFTC in their notices of exemption from registration and for engaging in foreign currency solicitation fraud.  CFTC

December 4 — The CFTC has filed a civil enforcement action charging David Bryant of Los Angeles County with fraud and acting as a Commodity Pool Operator without being registered with the CFTC; the CFTC’s complaint alleges that between at June 2014 and the present, Bryant fraudulently solicited and accepted at least $3 million from pool participants, claiming he was trading their funds in an account for the Bryant Family Investment Fund LLC. According to the CFTC’s complaint, there was no Bryant Family Investment Fund LLC account, and Bryant actually lost over $2.6 million trading in his personal accounts during this period. CFTC

December 2 — The CFTC settled charges against Arya Motazedi of Miami, Florida, for engaging in fraudulent transactions in the New York Mercantile Exchange’s RBOB Gasoline Physical futures contract and CL Light Sweet Crude Oil futures contract; Motazedi will pay a civil monetary penalty of $100,000 and restitution in the amount of $216,955.  CFTC

November 2015

November 30 — Eric A. Bloom, formerly of Northbrook, Illinois, has been banned from trading commodity interests on charges that he violated Section 4d(b) of the Commodity Exchange Act in the handling of $562 million in commodity customer segregated funds that had been managed by Sentinel Management Group, Inc.; in a parallel criminal action, Bloom was sentenced to 14 years in prison. CFTC

November 18 — Sentry Asset Group, LLC d/b/a Sentry Asset Management, LLC of Boca Raton, Florida, and its owner, manager, and controlling person John Pakel of Boynton Beach, Florida have been ordered to pay a $100,000 civil monetary penalty and restitution of $278,767 for engaging in illegal, off-exchange precious metals transactions. CFTC

November 16 – The CFTC has filed a lawsuit against IB Capital FX, LLC (a/k/a IB Capital FX [NZ] LLP) d/b/a IB Capital, Michel Geurkink, and Emad Echadi, alleging that the defendant solicited and accepted at least $50 million from 960 clients, including almost 700 in the United States, for off-exchange margined retail foreign currency (forex) trading without being registered with the CFTC.  CFTC

October 2015

October 21 – The CFTC sued Gregory L. Gramalegui of Vail, Colorado, for fraud, making false statements to the CFTC, failing to make required advertising disclosures, and violating a prior CFTC administrative order.  CFTC

October 20 – Alan James Watson, Cash Flow Financial LLC, and Michael S. Potts have been ordered to pay over $91 million in fines and restitution for operating a commodity pool Ponzi scheme.  CFTC

October 20 – A federal judge has ordered John R. Bullar and his company, Executive Management Advisors LLC, to pay over $31 million in penalties and restitution for fraud, misappropriation, embezzlement, and operating a Ponzi scheme.  CFTC

October 20 – The CFTC ordered BNP Paribas Securities Corp. to pay a $140,000 penalty on charges that the company improperly invested customer segregated funds.  CFTC

October 19 – The CFTC filed a lawsuit against Igor B. Oystacher and his proprietary trading company, 3 Red Trading LLC, both of Chicago, Illinois, charging the defendants with spoofing and employment of a manipulative and deceptive device while trading futures on four different futures exchanges.  CFTC

October 14 — The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio entered judgment against Bradley A. Miklovich of Stow, Ohio, resolving charges that Miklovich, a former Associated Person of Rice Investment Company made unauthorized trades for two customers’ accounts and falsified a customer’s account statements and Rice’s internal documents. The order requires Miklovich to make full restitution to Rice in the amount of $566,360 and to pay a $100,000 civil monetary penalty.  CFTC

October 5 – Alexander Glytenko and his company, Direct Investment Products, Inc., will pay over $3.8 million in restitution and penalties in connection with a commodity pool fraud scheme.  CFTC

September 2015

September 30 — Alfred C. Toepfer International, Inc., a global merchandiser of agricultural commodities, will pay a $400,000 penalty for failing to comply with its legal obligation to submit accurate monthly CFTC Form 204 Reports regarding the composition of Toepfer’s fixed price cash grain purchases and sales.  CFTC

September 30 – The CFTC filed charges against Guardian Asset Group, LLC and its owner and principal, Andrew Kurzbard, both of West Palm Beach, Florida, alleging that the defendants engaged in illegal, off-exchange transactions in precious metals with retail customers on a leveraged, margined, or financed basis.  CFTC

September 30 – The CFTC ordered Deutsche Bank AG to pay a $2.5 million penalty for swaps reporting violations and related supervision failures.  CFTC

September 29 – The CFTC ordered Barbara Cohen of Tarpon Springs, Florida, to pay a $140,000 penalty on charges that she made false statements of material fact to CFTC staff and that the website of Cohen’s company, Pure Reason, LLC promoted Pure Reason’s trading software by demonstrating profitable trading results without disclosing that these results were based on hypothetical, and not actual, trades.  CFTC

September 29 — American Portfolio Asset Management, Inc. and its owner, Alan M. Kneller, both of Boca Raton, Florida, will pay over $578,000 in restitution and penalties to settle charges that they illegally offering off-exchange financed transactions in precious metals to retail customers.  CFTC

September 29 – The CFTC ordered Daniel Bowman of Lisle, Illinois, to pay a $35,000 penalty to settle charges that he exceeded the spot month speculative position limit for the Live Cattle futures contract traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.  CFTC

September 29 – The CFTC have filed a lawsuit against Harvard Assets LLC, London Assets Inc., and Harvard International Trading, Inc., all three operating in Florida, and their controlling person, Todd Owen Marshall for engaging in illegal, off-exchange transactions in precious metals with retail customers.  CFTC

September 28 — The CFTC ordered Michael E. Simmons and Global Consortiums, LLC, both of Fayetteville, Georgia, to pay a $360,000 penalty and restitution totaling $229,660 for committing fraud and misappropriation in connection with operating a commodity pool that offered leveraged or margined off-exchange foreign currency transactions.  CFTC

September 25 — Chicago-based Futures International LLC and its Chief Operating Officer Amedeo Cerrone of St. Charles, Illinois, have agreed to pay $500,000 to settle charges of failing to adequately record customer orders; failing to maintain required records relating to commodity futures transactions; submitting order tickets bearing false timestamps; unauthorized trading; and failing to provide adequate supervision.  CFTC

September 25 – The CFTC has charged Safety Capital Management, Inc. and GNS Capital, Inc., both doing business as FOREXNPOWER, John Won, and Sungmi Kang with fraudulent solicitation of over $1.5 million from customers to trade off-exchange foreign currency and misappropriation of over $622,000 of customer funds.  CFTC

September 24 — Russian citizen, Yakov Shlyapochnik, and his Connecticut-based company, Nord Capital Advisors, LLC (NCA) have been ordered to pay a $280,000 penalty for failing to disclose NCA’s principal in registration filings and for engaging in fraud in soliciting prospective clients by failing to disclose material changes in NCA’s algorithmic trading program.  CFTC

September 24 —  The CFTC ordered commodities trading company Cargill de México SA De CV to pay a $500,000 penalty for executing wash trades involving corn, soybean, and wheat futures contracts on the Chicago Board of Trade and wheat futures contracts on the Kansas City Board of Trade.  CFTC

September 24 — The CFTC settled charges against TeraExchange LLC for failing to enforce its prohibition on wash trading and prearranged trading.  CFTC

September 17 – The CFTC ordered Robert M. McMahon of Mt. Pocono, Pennsylvania, to pay a $171,000 penalty for engaging in a deceptive trading scheme involving Henry Hub Natural Gas Futures contracts, in which he would defraud his customers by taking the other sides of his customers trades and allocating to them the worse-priced contracts.  CFTC

September 17 – The CFTC filed a complaint against Mintco LLC of Delray Beach, Florida, and its principals Stuart Rubin and Richard Q. Zimmerman, charging the defendants with unlawfully targeting low net-worth retail customers with telemarketing and off-exchange transactions for the purchase and sale of gold and other precious metals.  CFTC

September 17 – The CFTC ordered Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd., an Australia-based financial services company, to pay a $150,000 penalty for failing to comply with its obligation to submit accurate large trader reports for physical commodity swap positions.  CFTC

September 17 – Terry Lee Phillips of Indianapolis, Indiana, and his two companies, Phillips Investment & Trust LLC and Corporate I Communications & Technology Inc., will pay over $200,000 to settle charges that they defrauded 11 investors out of at least $113,000.  CFTC

September 17 – The CFTC has issued a cease and desist order against Coinflip, Inc. d/b/a Derivabit and its chief executive officer Francisco Riordan for conducting activity related to commodity options transactions without complying with the Commodity Exchange Act and CFTC Regulations.  CFTC

September 11 – The CFTC has charged Hannes Tulving, Jr. of Newport Beach, California, and his company, The Tulving Company, Inc., with fraudulent solicitation and misappropriation of at least $17.8 million from over 380 customers for the purchase and sale of precious metals.  CFTC

September 9 – Donovan Davis Jr., a former principal of Capital Blu Management, LLC, was sentenced to 17 years in federal prison on multiple counts of criminal conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering in connection with the operation of a fraudulent $17 million commodity pool.  CFTC

September 8 – Forex Capital Markets, LLC has agreed to pay $843,000 to settle charges that it failed to diligently supervise its officers’, employees’, and agents’ handling of accounts held in the name of a fraudulent foreign currency exchange pool, Revelation Forex Fund, LPCFTC

September 8 – The CFTC has charged Rodney Scott Phelps, Jason T. Castenir, and the companies they control – Maverick Asset Management, LLC and Maverick Investment Holdings, LLC – with fraudulently soliciting at least $1.2 million from members of the public to trade commodity futures in a pool, misappropriating more than $800,000 of pool participants’ funds for their personal use, and misrepresenting the profitability of their trading.  CFTC

August 2015

August 28 — Ron Earl McCullough and David Christopher Mayhew, both from Raleigh, North Carolina, have been ordered to pay $3.7 million for their roles in a Ponzi scheme involving at least 11 investors.  CFTC

August 25 – An Illinois federal court has ordered Charles Mosley, a former senior vice president at Sentinel Management Group, Inc., to pay over $2 million to resolve charges of misusing customer funds.  CFTC

August 19 – INTL FCStone Markets, LLC, a provisionally registered swap dealer, has agreed to pay a $200,000 penalty to settle allegations that it failed to diligently supervise traders in its Kansas City Energy Group.  CFTC

August 7 – The CFTC has filed an enforcement action against Gary Creagh and Wall Street Pirate Management, LLC, both of New York, for making false, fictitious, or fraudulent statements or omissions to the National Futures Association.  CFTC

August 6 – The CFTC ordered Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC to pay a $300,000 penalty for failing to hold sufficient U.S. dollars in segregated accounts in the United States to meet all of its obligations to cleared swaps customers.  CFTC

August 5 – The District Court for the Southern District of New York ordered Wayne P. Weddington III and his companies Brunswick Capital LLC and Brunswick Capital Partners LP to pay over $1 million in penalties and restitution for defrauding customers.  CFTC

August 3 – The CFTC has charged Husam Tayeh of Oak Lawn, Illinois, as well as Nevada corporations Dinar Corp., Inc. and My Monex, Inc., with operating a fraudulent scheme involving foreign currency (forex) and failing to register with the CFTC.  CFTC

July 2015

July 31 — Keith F. Simmons and his company, Black Diamond Capital Solutions, LLC, and Deanna Salazar and her companies, Life Plus Group, LLC and Black Diamond Holdings, LLC, have been hit with a $76 million penalty for running a foreign currency exchange (forex) Ponzi scheme.  CFTC

July 22 – Attorney Jay Bruce Grossman, who practices law in Fort Lauderdale, Florida will pay close to $1 million in penalties and restitution for aiding and abetting multiple clients in their operation of illegal and fraudulent precious metals schemes.  CFTC

July 10 – A federal court in North Carolina fined Carl David Wright $1 million for operating a commodity pool fraud in violation of the Commodity Exchange Act, following a criminal case against Wright which concluded last year with a 4-year prison term and criminal fine.  CFTC

July 6 – The CFTC has filed a civil enforcement action against Yumin Li, from the People’s Republic of China, and Kering Capital Ltd., a British Virgin Islands company, with fraud, engaging in fictitious transactions, and trading noncompetitively in violation of the Commodity Exchange Act and CFTC regulations.  CFTC

June 2015

June 24 — The CFTC has charged Nick A. Wurl and his company Ludiera Capital LLC, both of Chicago, Illinois, with fraud, misappropriation, and the issuance of false statements in connection with a $9 million investment pool scheme.  CFTC

June 19 – The Southern District of New York has ordered Joseph F. Welsh III of Northport, New York, to pay $500,000 to resolve CFTC charges that he attempted to manipulate settlement prices of NYMEX palladium and platinum futures contracts.  CFTC

June 16 – A judge for the Western District of Missouri has ordered Gregory Christopher Evans to pay over $1.2 million in penalties for fraud and unauthorized swaps trading.  CFTC

May 2015

May 20 — The CFTC fined Barclays $400 million for attempting to manipulate the foreign exchange benchmark rates and another $115 million for attempting to manipulate the U.S. Dollar International Swaps and Derivatives Association Fix.  CFTC and CFTC

May 14 — The CFTC ordered Double Eagle Enterprises, LLC, Double Eagle Metals, and its owner Eric Arlt, all of Charlevoix, Michigan, to pay $700,000 for illegally offering off-exchange financed transactions in precious metals with retail customers, and failure to register as a Futures Commission Merchant with the CFTC.  CFTC

May 11 — The CFTC ordered Libero Commodities SA, an agricultural trading company, to pay $480,000 for failing to comply with its legal obligation as a reportable trader to submit weekly CFTC Form 304 Reports that show its call cotton purchases and sales, in violation of CFTC Regulation 19.02.  CFTC

May 5 — The CFTC filed a civil enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against Heet Khara and Nasim Salim, residents of the United Arab Emirates for engaging in unlawful disruptive trading practices known as “spoofing” in the gold and silver futures markets.  CFTC

May 1 — The CFTC ordered FCStone, LLC, headquartered in New York, NY, to pay a $140,000 penalty for failing to provide and maintain an adequate program of supervision and for failing to diligently supervise its employees.  CFTC

April 2015

April 30 — The CFTC charged Barry C. Taylor of Franklin, North Carolina, with operating a multi-million dollar fraudulent forex scheme through his firms, OTC Investments LLC and Forex Currency Trade Advisors, LLCCFTC

April 30 — The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California ordered Christopher Valois and Cynthia Wong, residents of Irvine, California, and their companies, Bertram Trade LLC and Churchhill Commodities Trading LLC, to pay $1.1 million for fraud and registration violations.  CFTC

April 29 — A federal court in North Carolina ordered James Harvey Mason of Graham, North Carolina to pay $5.5 million for commodity pool fraud.  CFTC

April 27 — A federal court in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida ordered Inter-Global Currency & Precious Metals, LLC of Pompano Beach, Florida, and its owner, manager, and controlling person Stavros Papastavrou, of Delray Beach, Florida, to pay a civil monetary penalty of $100,000 and a restitution award of $447,342 for engaging in illegal, off-exchange precious metal transactions.  CFTC

April 27 — The CFTC charged My Global Leverage, LLC and its owner and managing member Toney Blondo Eggleston, who resides in Newport Coast, California, with engaging in illegal, off-exchange transactions in precious metals with retail customers on a leveraged, margined, or financed basis.  CFTC

April 23 — The CFTC secured a settlement requiring Deutsche Bank to pay an $800 million penalty to settle CFTC charges of manipulation, attempted manipulation, and false reporting of LIBOR and Euribor.  CFTC

April 21 — The CFTC filed a civil enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida against Sentry Asset Group, LLC of Boca Raton, Florida, and its owner and manager, John Pakel of Del Ray, Florida, alleging that they engaged in illegal, off-exchange transactions in precious metals with retail customers on a leveraged, margined, or financed basis.  CFTC

April 21 — A CFTC civil enforcement action was unsealed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against Nav Sarao Futures Limited PLC and Navinder Singh Sarao for price manipulation and spoofing.  CFTC

April 20 — The CFTC announced that the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida entered an emergency restraining order freezing assets and prohibiting the destruction or concealment of books and records of Dorian A. Garcia, and his companies, DG Wealth Management, Macroquantum Capital LLC, and UKUSA Currency Fund LP, all of Naples, Florida.  The CFTC previously had filed a complaint charging the defendants with fraud in connection with their solicitation of customers for their foreign currency and options trading pools, misappropriation of customer funds, and their issuance of false statements and registration violations.  CFTC

April 17 — The CFTC announced that it filed a civil enforcement action in a Chicago federal court against Matthew J. Marcus of California and his company, Tech Power, Inc., a Nevada corporation located in California, and John D. Briner, an attorney residing in Vancouver, Canada, and his company, MetroWest Law Corporation, a Canadian law firm, for engaging in fictitious single stock futures transactions on OneChicago LLC and trading non-competitively.  CFTC

April 15 — The CFTC ordered Hope Advisors LLC, a Brentwood, Tennessee, Commodity Pool Operator, to pay a $100,000 civil monetary penalty for acting as a CPO without registering with the CFTC, as required, and for providing monthly statements to pool participants that failed to show all the information required by Commission Regulation.  CFTC

April 6 — The CFTC secured a permanent injunction against RFF GP, LLC, KGW Capital Management, LLC, and Kevin G. White, all of The Woodlands, Texas, requiring the defendants to pay $7.5 million for operating a fraudulent commodity pool.  CFTC

April 1 — The CFTC filed a civil enforcement complaint in the District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against Kraft Foods Group, Inc. and Mondelēz Global LLC, headquartered in Northfield and Deerfield, Illinois, respectively, for manipulation and attempted manipulation of the prices of cash wheat and wheat futures.  CFTC

March 2015

March 31 — The CFTC filed a lawsuit charging Maverick International, Inc. and its principals, Wesley Allen Brown and Edward Rubin, with operating a fraudulent commodity pool.  CFTC

March 30 — The CFTC announced that the District Court for the District of Columbia entered an order against Daniel Shak of Las Vegas, Nevada, for his violation of a prior CFTC Administrative Order; Shak must pay a $100,000 civil monetary penalty for violating the terms of the CFTC order regarding his attempt to manipulate the price of crude oil futures contracts on the NYME and violating speculative position limits.  CFTC

March 27 — The CFTC announced that the District Court for South Carolina entered an order of permanent injunction against Robert Stanley Harrison of Easley, South Carolina, permanently banning him from engaging in commodity-related activity.  CFTC

March 23 –The CFTC ordered Marubeni America Corporation, a dealer and merchant of agricultural commodities and the largest overseas subsidiary of Japan-based Marubeni Corporation, to pay $800,000 for inaccurately reporting positions in grains futures.  CFTC

March 16 — The CFTC ordered ICE Futures U.S. Inc. to pay $3 million in civil penalties for recurring data reporting violations. CFTC

March 3 — The CFTC announced that a complaint it filed under seal on February 25, 2015, charges Jerry Stauffer of Traverse City, Michigan, with fraudulently soliciting close to $1 million from the public to trade foreign exchange in a commodity pool by guaranteeing pool participants a monthly return on their investment based on profits purportedly earned from forex trading.  CFTC

March 3 — A New York federal court ordered Mark Evan Bloom of Monmouth Beach, New Jersey, and his firm North Hills Management, LLC to pay a $26 million civil monetary penalty for operating a fraudulent commodity pool called North Hills LP and misappropriating customer funds.  CFTC

February 2015

February 26 — Kevin G. White of The Woodlands, Texas, who orchestrated a $7.4 million commodity pool investment scam during which he misappropriated approximately $1.7 million from pool participants, was sentenced to over eight years in federal prison.  CFTC

February 13 —  A federal court ordered Scott M. Ross, formerly of Gilberts, Illinois, and his companies, Maize Capital Management, LLC and Maize Asset Management, LLC, to pay $6.7 million in restitution and civil penalties for defrauding investors, mishandling customer funds, and failing to register as a commodity pool operator.  CFTC

February 5 — The CFTC ordered Isaiah Goldman and Brock Catronio, individually, and their companies, Paramount Metals Exchange, LLC and Paramount Credit, LLC, both of Delray Beach, Florida, to pay over $2.5 million in sanctions for engaging in illegal, off-exchange precious metals transactions.  CFTC

February 4 — The CFTC ordered Brian S. Ekasala, a resident of Lake Worth, Florida, and his company, Midwest Metals Exchange, LLC, to pay over $500,000 for engaging in an illegal, off-exchange precious metals transaction scheme.  CFTC

February 4 — Chief Judge Linda R. Reade of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa ordered U.S. Bank National Association to pay $18 million dollars to be returned to Peregrine Financial Group, Inc. customers over allegations of misappropriation of customer funds.  CFTC

February 3 — Judge Cormac J. Carney of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California entered an emergency restraining order freezing assets and prohibiting the destruction or concealment of books and records of defendants Christopher Valois, Cynthia Wong, and their companies, Bertram Trade LLC and Churchhill Commodities Trading LLC, all of Orange County California.  The judge set a hearing date for February 12, 2015.  CFTC

January 2015 

January 26 — The CFTC ordered Anthony Lauria and his company, Gold Coast Bullion, Inc. to pay more than $9.6 million to settle charges of engaging in an illegal, off-exchange precious metals scheme and for committing fraud in connection with those illegal transactions.  CFTC

January 21 — A New York federal court has ordered Michael Kardonick, Gary Shapoff, and Atwood & James to pay a penalty of over $2 million and has imposed a permanent trading ban over allegations of Forex options fraud and misappropriation.  CFTC

January 21 —  Bharat Adatia and his companies, Lions Wealth Holdings, Lions Wealth Services, and 20/20 Precious Metals have been ordered to pay over $5.3 million in sanctions for an alleged fraudulent precious metals scheme.  CFTC

January 20 — The CFTC settled charges against Singapore-based Olam International, Ltd., which operates a futures trading desk in London, and its subsidiary, Olam Americas, Inc., based in Summit, New Jersey, requiring them to pay a $3 million civil monetary penalty.  CFTC

January 16 — The CFTC ordered Summit Energy Services, Inc., a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Louisville, Kentucky, to pay a $140,000 civil monetary penalty for acting as an unregistered commodity trading advisor.  CFTC

January 14 — A New Jersey federal court entered an order of default judgment and permanent injunction for over $870,000 against TOTE Fund LLC and MJS Capital Management LLC, two commodity pool operators, and their sole principal Michael J. Siegel of Northfield, New Jersey, for misappropriating funds and other violations.  CFTC

December 2014

December 30 — Judge Martin Reidinger of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina entered an Order of Default Judgment against Edwin A. Vasquez of Arden, North Carolina, and his company Vasquez Global Investments, LLCfor defrauding participants in a commodity pool commonly known as the Vasquez pool. CFTC

December 24 — MF Global Holdings Ltd. must pay $1.212 billion in restitution (or such amount as necessary to ensure that claims of customers of its subsidiary, MF Global Inc. are paid in full). The CFTC previously filed and settled charges against MFGI for misuse of customer funds and related supervisory failures in violation of the Commodity Exchange Act and CFTC Regulations. CFTC

December 22 — The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas issued a supplemental Consent Order of Permanent Injunction requiring Steven Lyn Scott of Dallas, Texas, to pay a $700,000 civil monetary penalty and restitution of $766,625.30, plus post-judgment interest. An earlier Consent Order of the Court, entered on May 5, 2014, imposed a permanent trading and registration ban against Scott and prohibits him from violating provisions of the Commodity Exchange Act and CFTC regulations. CFTC

December 22 — The CFTC ordered Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. to pay a $3 million penalty on charges of failing to properly invest customer segregated funds, failing to prepare and file accurate financial reports, failing to maintain required books and records, and for related supervisory failures. CFTC

December 18 – A federal district court for the Southern District of New York has ordered Royal Bank of Canada to pay civil monetary penalties of $35 million for engaging in more than 1,000 illegal wash sales, fictitious sales, and noncompetitive transactions over a three-year period.  CFTC

December 18 – The CFTC has obtained a court order requiring AlphaMetrix, LLC, a Chicago-based Commodity Pool Operator and Commodity Trading Advisor, and its parent company AlphaMetrix Group, LLC to pay a combined $8.4 million in penalties, restitution, and disgorgement.  CFTC

December 16 – A federal court has ordered Missouri resident Daniel Steele and his company, Champion Management International LLC, to pay over $2.5 million in sanctions.  CFTC

December 10 –  The CFTC has settled charges against IBFX, Inc. f/k/a Tradestation Forex, Inc., a Florida-based Retail Foreign Exchange Dealer, for violating CFTC Regulations by failing to meet the minimum net capital requirements on three separate occasions, failing to timely report one of the minimum net capital deficits, and failing to supervise its employees and agents diligently by establishing, implementing, and executing an adequate supervisory structure and compliance programs.  CFTC

December 5 –  The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida has entered an order of default judgment against defendants Gold Distributors, Inc. of Hallandale Beach, Florida, and its sole owner Jordan Cain of Miami, Florida.  The order requires the defendants to pay restitution in the amount of $337,266 and a civil monetary penalty of $1,011,800, as well as imposing permanent trading, solicitation, and registration bans against the defendants.  CFTC

December 4 –  Paul Greenwood of North Salem, New York, who operated a $1.3 billion investment scam where he and a co-Defendant misappropriated at least $554 million from commodity pool participants, was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for charges related to his participation in the scam. Earlier, on July 28, 2010, Greenwood pled guilty to a six-count criminal indictment on the charges, including a commodities fraud charge in violation of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA).  CFTC

December 3 – The CFTC ordered Christopher A. Engel and Pinnacle Forex Group LLC, both of Glen Rock, Pennsylvania, jointly to pay a $414,000 civil monetary penalty and restitution totaling $405,378 to defrauded customers for committing fraud and misappropriation in connection with operating a commodity pool that traded leveraged or margined off-exchange foreign currency contracts.  CFTC

November 2014

November 26 – The CFTC has ordered Dominick Anthony Cognata, who was a registered COMEX floor broker, to pay a $140,000 civil monetary penalty for failing to comply with a CFTC subpoena and to cease and desist from further violations of CFTC recordkeeping requirements.  CFTC

November 25 – The CFTC announced the filing of a civil enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, charging Defendant Thomas Gillons of Napa County, California, with fraud and acting as a Futures Commission Merchant without being registered.  CFTC

November 13 — The CFTC settled charges against Rosenthal Collins Group, LLC for failing to supervise an Associated Person and for failing to provide and maintain an adequate program of supervision over trading.  CFTC

November 12 — The CFTC reached settlements with 5 banks for over $1.4 billion on charges that Citibank, HSBC, JPMorgan, RBS, and UBS attempted to manipulate foreign exchange benchmark rates.  CFTC

November 6 – The CFTC obtained a restraining order freezing assets and prohibiting the destruction or concealment of books and records of Emini Experts LLC, Capital Trading Concepts LLC, and Dante S. Giovannetti, all of Orlando, Florida, in a case involving an alleged fraud scheme.  CFTC

October 2014

October 27 — A federal court has issued an order imposing permanent trading and registration bans and a $210,000 penalty against Neal E. Hall of Reidsville, North Carolina for registration violations and failure to include certain required disclosures on his website.  CFTC

October 24 — A federal court has ordered California resident Ryan A. Nassbridges, and his companies, American Bullion Exchange ABEX Corp. and American Bullion Exchange, LLC, to pay over $18 million in penalties in a commodity pool precious metals scheme.  CFTC

October 24 — The CFTC has obtained a federal court order of default judgment against defendant Financial Robotics, Inc., a Texas corporation, for its participation in a fraudulent Forex scheme, requiring the defendant to pay restitution of $827,000 and a penalty of almost $2.5 million.  CFTC

October 22 — The CFTC has obtained a federal court order against John B. Wilson and his company, JBW Capital LLC, both of Boston, Massachusetts, for fraud and registration violations of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA), requiring the defendants to pay a $2.86 million civil penalty and imposing permanent trading and registration bans on the defendants.  CFTC

October 9 — The CFTC has obtained a federal court order of default judgment against Vertical Integration Group LLC of Lake Worth, Florida, and its Managing Members, Richard V. Morello and Junior Alexis, for engaging in illegal, off-exchange precious metals transactions, requiring payment of over $2.5 million in sanctions.  CFTC

October 8 — The CFTC has settled charges against Friedberg Mercantile Group, Inc. of Toronto, Canada for secured amount deficiency, commingling of customer funds, and failure to timely report secured amount deficiency.  CFTC

October 2 — The CFTC has obtained a federal court order permanently enjoining Glenn Kane Jackson of Healdsburg, California, and Highlands Capital Management, L.P. from trading for operating a fraudulent off-exchange foreign currency pool scheme.  CFTC

October 1 — The CFTC obtained a federal court order against defendant Eric Moncada, finding that the defendant attempted to manipulate the wheat futures markets on numerous occasions and imposing a $1.56 million civil monetary penalty and trading and registration restrictions. CFTC 

September 2014

September 30 — The CFTC has filed a federal complaint against International Monetary Metals, Inc. of Hollywood, Florida, and its president Martin Sommers, alleging the defendants engaged in illegal, off-exchange transactions in precious metals with retail customers on a leveraged, margined, or financed basis.  CFTC

September 30 —  The CFTC ordered Scott A. Beatty of Roy, Utah, individually and doing business as Peak Capital Group, Inc., and his Ogden, Utah-based company, Peak Capital Management Group, Inc., to pay restitution of $641,000 and a $1 million penalty for committing fraud and misappropriation, making false statements to the CFTC, and failing to register with the CFTC in connection with operating a leveraged or margined off-exchange foreign currency scheme.  CFTC

Sepember 30 — The CFTC has filed a federal complaint against Daniel Shak of Las Vegas, Nevada for violating an administrative Order entered by the CFTC on November 25, 2013.  CFTC

September 29 — The CFTC has ordered Fan Zhang to pay $250,000 for engaging in fictitious sales and noncompetitive, prearranged trades.  CFTC

September 29 — The CFTC has filed a a federal complaint against Gerald J. Considine of Oak Park, Illinois, and his companies, Novo Trading LLC and Considine Trading Corp., charging the defendants with fraudulently soliciting more than $2.4 million from at least nine customers to open managed commodity futures or foreign exchange accounts and misappropriating more than $1.65 million of those funds.  CFTC

September 29 — The CFTC has filed a federal complaint against Inter-Global Currency & Precious Metals LLC of Pompano Beach, Florida, and its owner and manager, Stavros Papastavrou, charging the defendants with engaging in illegal, off-exchange transactions in precious metals with retail customers on a leveraged, margined, or financed basis.  CFTC

September 26 — The CFTC settled charges against Delaware Depository Services Company, LLC for confirming the execution of off-exchange precious metals transactions in violation of Section 4(a) of the Commodity Exchange Act.  CFTC

September 25 –The CFTC Ordered Absa Bank, Ltd. to pay a $150,000 penalty for unlawfully executing prearranged, noncompetitive trades on the Chicago Board of Trade.  CFTC

September 25 — The CFTC entered an order requiring Louis J. Ferone, of Miami, Florida to pay restitution of $55,442 to customers and a $100,000 civil monetary penalty for engaging in illegal, off-exchange precious metals transactions.  CFTC

September 25 — The CFTC filed a federal complaint charging Gregory Christopher Evans with unauthorized trading and concealing trading losses.  CFTC

September 24 —  The CFTC ordered Kennith Wayne Thrasher and Kennith Luke Thrasher to pay a $525,000 penalty for violating speculative position limits in live cattle futures.  CFTC

September 23 — The CFTC settled charges against Todd Young of Atlanta, Georgia, and his company, Young Scott & Associates, for engaging in illegal, off-exchange precious metals transactions, requiring restitution of $162,487 to their customers and imposing permanent registration and trading bans.  CFTC

September 23 — The CFTC filed a federal complaint charging Ohio’s John Bullar and his company, Executive Management Advisors LLC, with fraud and embezzlement in operating a $8 million commodity pool and ponzi scheme.  CFTC

September 17 — The CFTC issued an order settling charges against Sean F. McCabe, a resident of Sunny Isles, Florida, and his company, WorldPMX, Inc., for engaging in illegal, off-exchange precious metals transactions and for operating WorldPMX as an unregistered Futures Commission Merchant (FCM).  The order requires McCabe and WorldPMX jointly to pay restitution totaling $1,048,807 and a civil monetary penalty of $140,000, and imposes permanent registration and trading bans on McCabe and WorldPMX.  CFTC

September 16 – The CFTC has revoked the registrations of  SAC LLC and SAC LP for convictions upon guilty pleas to felony charges of wire fraud and securities fraud.  CFTC

September 16 — The CFTC filed a complaint against Glen Galemmo of Cincinnati, Ohio, charging him with operating a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme through his firm, QFC, LLC, from February 2010 through at least July 2013 and alleging millions of dollars in fraud.  CFTC

September 15, 2014 – Federal court orders Brian Hunter to pay $750,000 civil fine and permanently prohibits Hunter from certain trading activities or registering with the CFTC over allegations that Hunter attempted to manipulate the price of natural gas futures contracts traded on the NYMEX. CFTC

September 15, 2014 – The CFTC issued an order filing and simultaneously settling charges against Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, LLC, a CFTC-registered Futures Commission Merchant, for improper supervision and records violations. The CFTC order requires Morgan Stanley to pay a $280,000 civil monetary penalty and to disgorge commissions it earned from the subject accounts. CFTC

September 9, 2014 – The CFTC settled charges against Zulutrade, Inc., a CFTC-registered Introducing Broker located in Piraeus, Greece, for failure to diligently supervise activities relating to its business as a CFTC registrant.  The settlement order requires Zulutrade to pay a $150,000 civil monetary penalty and disgorge $80,000 in commissions and fees it earned from accounts that were related to the alleged supervisory failure.  CFTC

September 9, 2014 — The CFTC filed a civil enforcement Complaint against attorney Jay Bruce Grossman, who practices law in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, alleging that beginning on July 16, 2011, Grossman willfully aided and abetted multiple clients in their operation of illegal and fraudulent precious metals schemes, in violation of the Commodity Exchange Act.  CFTC

August 2014

August 27, 2014 — The CFTC issued an Order filing and simultaneously settling charges against financial services company FirstRand Bank, Ltd., headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, for executing unlawful prearranged, noncompetitive trades involving corn and soybean futures contracts on the Chicago Board of Trade, a designated contract market of the CME Group.   CFTC

August 26, 2014 — The CFTC issued an Order filing and simultaneously settling charges against Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated for failing to diligently supervise its officers’, employees’, and agents’ processing of futures exchange and clearing fees charged to its customers from at least January 1, 2010 through April 2013.  CFTC

August 21, 2014 — The CFTC issued an Order filing and settling charges against S.J. Woods, Inc. and its owners, Peter Blanco and Paul Proscia, involving their participation in illegal, off-exchange financed transactions in precious metals with retail customers. The Order requires them to pay restitution totaling $2,971,992.23 to their customers, imposes permanent trading bans against them, and prohibits them from violating the Commodity Exchange Act, as charged.   CFTC

August 11, 2014 — The CFTC entered an Order requiring Jacob N. Stein, individually and doing business as TEPdesign, Inc., to pay restitution of $244,400 to defrauded customers and a $100,000 civil monetary penalty, for committing fraud and misappropriation in connection with a commodity pool that traded leveraged or margined off-exchange foreign currency contracts (forex).  CFTC

August 7, 2014 — The CFTC charged Edwin A. Vasquez and his company Vasquez Global Investments with misappropriation, solicitation fraud, and issuing false statements in connection with the operation of an unregistered commodity trading pool.  According to the CFTC Complaint, Vasquez and his company defrauded and deceived at least 19 participants who invested at least $583,491 in a commodity pool commonly known as the VGI pool.  CFTC

August 7, 2014 —  The CFTC obtained an order against Florida residents John P. D’Onofrio, George E. Sarafianos, Scott D. Piccininni and their Florida companyAmeriFirst Management to jointly pay more than $25M in restitution and a $10M penalty for operating a fraudulent precious metals scheme.  Specifically, the order found the defendants operated an illegal, off-exchange precious metals scheme and made numerous fraudulent misrepresentations, false reports, and statements in connection with the scheme.  CFTC

August 7, 2014 — Florida resident Lawrence Scott Spain and his company Palm Beach Capital were ordered to pay $527,000 for engaging in illegal, off-exchange precious metals transactions.  The order stems from a CFTC Complaint filed in May 2014 charging Spain and his company with violating the Commodity Exchange Act by these illegal transactions.  CFTC

August 4, 2014 — The CFTC obtained a $13M penalty against Parnon Energy of California, Arcadia Petroleum of the United Kingdom, and Arcadia Energy of Switzerland for manipulating New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) Light Sweet Crude Oil futures contract spreads from January 2008 to April 2008.  CFTC

August 4, 2014 — The CFTC obtained a $500,000 judgment against former Citigroup Director John Aaron Brooks for defrauding Citigroup by mismarking and inflating the value of his position in ethanol futures in Citigroup’s proprietary account.  Specifically, the court found Brooks cheated and defrauded Citigroup by inflating and mismarking the value of his position in New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) Chicago Ethanol (Platts) Futures contracts by misrepresenting his profits and losses and offsetting and masking the losses in his other futures positions.  By this conduct, Brooks violated the anti-fraud provisions of the Commodities Exchange Act (CEA) and a CFTC Regulation.  CFTC

August 1, 2014 — The CFTC filed a civil enforcement Complaint against Southern Trust Metals, Robert Escobio and Loreley Overseas Corp. charging them with violating the Dodd-Frank Act by operating an illegal, off-exchange precious metals scheme involving at least 135 customers who collectively lost $600,000 of the funds they invested.  CFTC

July 2014

July 29, 2014 — JP Morgan Securities, a wholly-owned subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase & Co., agreed to pay $650,000 to settle CFTC charges of submitting inaccurate reports to the CFTC relating to the required reporting of positions held by certain large traders whose accounts are carried by JPMS.  The reports are known as “large trader” reports and are used by the CFTC to evaluate potential market risks and monitor compliance with CFTC requirements.  The reporting violations occurred despite the CFTC notifying JPMS of numerous errors in its reports.  CFTC

July 28, 2014 — The CFTC issued an Order against Lloyds Banking Group and Lloyds Bank for false reporting and attempted manipulation of the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) for Sterling, U.S. Dollar, and Yen. The CFTC also brought and settled charges that Lloyds aided and abetted the attempts of derivatives traders at Rabobank to manipulate Yen LIBOR.  The Order requires Lloyds Banking Group and Lloyds Bank to pay a $105M civil monetary penalty, cease and desist from their violations of the Commodity Exchange Act, and to adhere to specific undertakings to ensure the integrity of LIBOR submissions in the future.  CFTC

July 18, 20014 — The CFTC filed an amended Complaint against Missouri resident Daniel K. Steele and his firm Champion Management International charging them with misappropriation, issuance of false account statements, and other acts of fraudulent solicitation and concealment relating to their solicitation of investments in foreign currency (forex) pools.  The amended Complaint follows a CFTC complaint against them filed in September 2013.  The amended Complaint further alleges that Steele knowingly made material misrepresentations to actual and prospective pool participants concerning Defendants’ forex trading and trading results.  The amended Complaint also alleges that Steele concealed trading losses, misappropriated approximately $1 million of pool participants’ funds for personal use, and issued false account statements to pool participants reflecting that they were earning profits when instead Steele was misappropriating the majority of their funds, all in violation of Section 4b of the Commodities Exchange Act.  CFTC

June 2014

June 19, 2014 — The CFTC obtained a court Order requiring Texas resident Robert J. Andres and his company Winsome Investment Trust and California resident Robert L. Holloway and his company US Ventures LC to pay a civil penalty of $32M and restitution for defrauded customers totaling $12M for their fraud in the operation of a commodity futures pool.  Specifically, the Order found that the defendants fraudulently solicited and accepted at least $50M from at least 243 individuals to invest in a commodity futures pool by falsely claiming successful track record and guaranteeing the return of participants’ principal and profits.  In reality, however, their futures trading was not successful, sustaining overall net losses of approximately $10.7 million and they operated it like a Ponzi scheme and used participants’ funds to pay personal and unrelated business expenses, and to pay for houses, cars, home furnishings, jewelry, lawn and maid services, and credit card bills.  In parallel criminal actions, Andres and Holloway were indicted on multiple counts of wire fraud.  CFTC

June 11, 2014 — The CFTC obtained a default judgment against Michael James Seward, Yan Kaziyev and their company SK Madison Commodities, a Commodity Pool Operator based in New York City, requiring them to pay restitution totaling $1M and a civil penalty of $2.5M for fraudulently soliciting more than $1.3M from members of the public to trade futures in a commodity pool.  Specifically, the defendants were found to have misrepresented their trading practices and historical trading returns and prepared and distributed to pool participants false account statements and performance reports showing huge profits when in reality they were losing money and diverting large amounts of pool participants’ funds for their own use.  CFTC

May 2014 

May 22, 2014 — The CFTC obtained an Order against four Hunter Wise related companies and their owners on charges they had fraudulently misrepresented the nature of precious metals transactions that resulted in millions of dollars in customer losses.  Hunter Wise Commodities, Hunter Wise Services, Hunter Wise Credit and Hunter Wise Trading and the individuals running the companies, Fred Jager and Harold Edward Martin, have been ordered to pay $52.6M in restitution to the defrauded customers and to pay a civil penalty of $55.4M.  The Order found that Jager and Martin knowingly defrauded more than 3,200 retail customers for more than 16 months in a manner that was “repeated, callous and blatant.”  CFTC

May 21, 2014 — The CFTC obtained an emergency court Order freezing and preserving the assets under the control of Cindy and Paul Vandivier and their company, Mintline, Inc., all of Florida.  The Order stems from a CFTC enforcement action charging the Vandiviers and Mintline with fraudulently soliciting customers and misappropriating customer funds in connection with illegal, off-exchange transactions in precious metals from July 2011 to at least April 2013.  CFTC

May 19, 2014 — The CFTC issued an Order filing and simultaneously settling charges that Global Futures & Forex, Ltd., a CFTC-registered Futures Commission Merchant (FCM) and former Retail Foreign Exchange Dealer (RFED) headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, failed to comply with minimum financial requirements for FCMs and RFEDs. The CFTC Order imposes a $200,000 civil penalty and a cease and desist order against GFF for its violations.  CFTC

May 15, 2014 — The CFTC issued an Order against RP Martin Holdings Limited, and its subsidiary, Martin Brokers (UK) Limited, an interdealer broker, filing and settling charges of manipulation, attempted manipulation, false reporting, and aiding and abetting derivatives traders’ acts of manipulation and attempted manipulation of the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) for Yen.  The CFTC Order requires RP Martin to pay a $1.2M civil penalty.  CFTC

May 2, 2014 — The CFTC obtained a restraining order freezing assets and prohibiting the destruction or concealment of books and records of EJS Capital Management, Alex Vladimir Ekdeshman and Edward J. Servider.  The order arises out of a Complaint the CFTC filed charging them with fraudulent solicitation of more than $2M, misappropriation of most of those funds, issuing false account statements, and registration violations in an ongoing retail foreign currency (forex) fraud scheme.  CFTC

April 2014 

April 29, 2014 — The CFTC obtained a final judgment and consent Order against Illinois resident James C. Yadgir settling charges that Yadgir exceeded speculative position limits in live cattle futures contracts and feeder cattle futures contracts. The Order requires Yadgir to pay a civil penalty of $130,000.  CFTC

April 28, 2014 — The CFTC obtained a Consent Order against Tunney & Associates, P.C, an accounting firm with offices in Hammond, Indiana and Orland Park, Illinois, and Michael Tunney, its sole owner and a certified public accountant, requiring T&A and Tunney jointly to pay a $100,000 civil penalty for violating CFTC Regulations when conducting audits for The Linn Group, a CFTC-registered Futures Commission Merchant.  CFTC

April 25, 2014 — The CFTC obtained a Consent Order of Permanent Injunction that bars Australian firm Halifax Investment Services, Ltd. from soliciting orders to trade foreign currency (forex) from US residents who do not qualify as eligible contract participants (ECPs) and from offering to be the counterparty to US residents’ forex transactions without registering with the CFTC.  The Order settles CFTC charges that Halifax unlawfully solicited members of the public to engage in forex transactions and operated as a Retail Foreign Exchange Dealer (RFED) without being registered with the CFTC.  CFTC

April 18, 2014 — The CFTC filed an enforcement action against Wayne Pennoyer Weddington III and his companies, Brunswick Capital and Brunswick Capital Partners, charging them with solicitation fraud, making false statements, and registration violations in connection with a commodity pool that he formed called Pennoyer International Funds Global Opportunity.  CFTC

April 17, 2014 — The CFTC issued an Order filing and simultaneously settling charges against Florida resident Derek J. Bridges and his companies Empire Sterling Metals and I.P.M. Investments for engaging in illegal, off-exchange precious metals transactions.  The CFTC Order requires Bridges and Empire jointly to pay restitution totaling $243,000 and Bridges and I.P.M. jointly to pay restitution totaling $15,000 to their customers.  CFTC

April 3, 2014 — Following a consent Order the CFTC obtained against MF Global, the company will begin making final distributions to its customers to satisfy its obligation of full restitution for $1.2 billion in losses sustained by customers of MF Global when the company failed in 2011.  In addition to full restitution, the consent Order imposed a $100 million civil penalty on MF Global, to be paid after MF Global has fully paid customers.  The consent Order arose out of the CFTC’s June 2013 complaint charging MF Global with unlawful use of customer funds.  Specifically, the Complaint charged MF Global with unlawfully using customer segregated funds to support its own proprietary operations and the operations of its affiliates.  CFTC