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July 21, 2020

Two unidentified whistleblowers will share a whistleblower reward totaling $1 million.  While the underlying enforcement action is not identified, the CFTC disclosed that information from the first whistleblower caused it to open an investigation, and information from the second whistleblower, who participated in the underlying scheme, significantly contributed to the investigation.  CFTC

July 10, 2020

Perfection PR Firm LLC (PPR) and owner Joshua Christian McDonald have been ordered to pay $360,565 in restitution and $935,907 in civil monetary penalty for committing fraud, misappropriating customer funds, and operating without proper registration.  While running an off-exchange foreign currency (forex) trading scheme, the defendants solicited $440,000 from 12 customers by promising them growth in value of 10-50% per month.  However, most or all of the funds that were not lost in trades were eventually transferred to McDonald.  CFTC

July 6, 2020

The CFTC has simultaneously filed and resolved charges against Illinois-based Foremost Trading LLC and its principal, Mark Miller.  According to the orders, Miller misappropriated customer funds and caused over 500 unauthorized and fictitious trades in proprietary accounts he owned with family and a customer account over which he had trading authority.  In addition to being suspended from trading for two years and permanently barred from future registration with the CFTC, Miller will pay a $250,000 civil penalty.  Together with Foremost, which will separately pay a $200,000 civil penalty, Miller will pay almost $725,000 in restitution.  CFTC

June 18, 2020

Deutsche Bank AG has agreed to pay over $10 million to settle two enforcement matters with the CFTC.  The first matter, settled for $1.25 million, involved numerous instances of spoofing by two Tokyo-based traders of Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. in 2013.  The second matter involved a swap reporting platform outage in 2016 that prevented Deutsche Bank from reporting swap data for five full days, exacerbated existing reporting problems, and ultimately caused new reporting problems, including some that violated a 2015 CFTC order.  To settle that matter, Deutsche Bank will pay $9 million, as well as undergo compliance monitoring.  CFTC

June 9, 2020

An unnamed whistleblower has been awarded $6 million for providing what the CFTC called specific, credible, and timely information that ultimately led to a successful enforcement action.  Since the agency’s whistleblower program was started in 2014, the CFTC has recovered nearly $900 million through whistleblower tips, and has awarded over $110 million to the whistleblowers involved with those recoveries.  CFTC

February 21, 2020

Husam Tayeh of Illinois and his Nevada corporations, Dinar Corps., Inc. and My Monex, Inc., have agreed to pay the CFTC more than $22.6 million in disgorgement and civil monetary penalties after being found liable for violations of the Commodity Exchange Act arising from defendants’ alleged registration violations, misappropriation of investor funds, and fraudulent solicitation of customers to engage in financed retail forex transactions involving Iraqi Dinar and Vietnamese Dong.  To settle a related criminal action, Tayeh has been sentenced to 1 year in prison, ordered to forfeit more than $8 million, and ordered to pay more than $150,000 in restitution to victims.  CFTC

January 27, 2020

Catalyst Capital Advisors LLC and its CEO Jerry Szilagyi will pay more than $10 million -- $8.9 million in disgorgement and 1.6 million in civil monetary penalties -- to resolve claims that they failed to adequately supervise employees including the portfolio manager of Catalyst's Hedged Futures Strategy Fund, Edward Walczak, who was separately charged.   Catalyst and Walczak made materially misleading statements about the risk management strategies employed by the fund, including false statements that stop-loss measures and risk monitoring were in place.  The misrepresentations led investors and investment advisors to believe that the fund was a safer investment than it actually was. CFTC, SEC

January 21, 2020

Australian proprietary trading firm Propex Derivatives Pty Ltd has been ordered to pay $1 million and submit to a deferred prosecution agreement after a former trader, Jiongsheng (Jim) Zhao, was found to have engaged in spoofing on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange E-mini S&P 500 futures market.  His actions caused about $464,300 in market losses over the course of the five year scheme.  CFTC; DOJ
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