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CFTC Enforcement Actions

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is the United States agency with primary responsibility for enforcing the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and regulating commodity futures and related markets. Whistleblowers with knowledge of violations of laws and regulations enforced by the CFTC can submit a claim under the CFTC Whistleblower Reward Program, and may be eligible to receive a monetary reward and protection against retaliation by employers.

Below are summaries of recent CFTC settlements or successful enforcement actions. If you believe you have information about fraud which could give rise to a CFTC enforcement action and claim under the CFTC Whistleblower Reward Program, please contact us to speak with one of our experienced whistleblower attorneys.

October 13, 2022

Daniel Adam Hewko and his company, Main & Prospect Capital, LLC (MPC), have been ordered to pay over $7.9 million and be permanently barred from registering and trading with the CFTC, after they were found to have failed to register as an associate of a commodity pool operator, misappropriated client funds, and committed fraud.  Rather than invest client funds into a MPC-managed pooled investment vehicle called the Global Opportunity Fund, Hewko used the funds to benefit himself, his family, and unrelated companies, while issuing false statements to clients that showed false growth.  CFTC

September 30, 2022

BGC Derivative Markets, L.P. (BGCD) has been ordered to pay $1.9 million in civil penalties and to comply with certain undertakings in order to settle charges of failing to accurately report nearly 16,000 swap transactions to the CFTC.  The failures were a result of 14 separate reporting systems issues.  As a result of the settlement, BGCD will have to conduct a review of its swaps reporting program, implement a reconciliation process for those transactions, and submitted a written report to the CFTC in a year.  CFTC

September 29, 2022

CX Futures Exchange, L.P. has been ordered to pay $6.5 million and comply with certain conditions to settle charges of violating the Commodity Exchange Act and CFTC regulations.  The charges involved failing to comply with certain system safeguard regulations, failing to report certain data for over 200,000 options transactions, and falsely representing to CFTC staff that it was properly reporting such data.  CFTC

September 27, 2022

Eleven financial institutions—including Bank of America, Barclays, Cantor Fitzgerald, Citi, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Jefferies, Morgan Stanley, Nomura, and UBS—have been ordered to pay over $710 million total for violating CFTC recordkeeping and supervision requirements.  Each institution was found to have failed to prevent their employees from communicating both internally and externally about firm business using informal means, such as texts, Whatsapp, and Signal, and failed to preserve those communications.  The individual payments ranged from $100 million (Bank of America) to $6 million (Cantor Fitzgerald), with the majority of institutions ordered to pay $75 million.  CFTC

September 16, 2022

William Thomas Caniff and his company, Berkley Capital Management, LLC have been ordered to pay $2.6 million in restitution and a $3.6 million civil monetary penalty after they were found to have misappropriated participant funds from two foreign exchange binary options trading pools.  Caniff directed about $1.2 million to himself and directed about $1.1 million to his partner, Arie Bos.  Bos then concealed the misappropriation by reporting false profits to pool participants.  CFTC

September 2, 2022

Swapnil Rege, SwapStar Capital LLC, and Reema Rege have been ordered to pay $5 million in disgorgement and pre-judgment interest for engaging in fraudulent solicitation and misappropriation, including on Swapnil’s part, engaging in trading despite an existing bar for prior violations, and on Reema’s part, receiving illegally-obtained profits she was not entitled to.  The orders resulted from parallel but separate enforcement actions by the CFTC and SEC, and included a permanent trading and registration ban against Swapnil.  CFTC; SEC

July 15, 2022

A number of California- and Colorado-based people and their affiliated entities have been ordered to pay over $29 million in total in order to resolve multiple charges of violating CFTC regulations.  A federal judge had found California-based John D. Black, his associates Christopher Mancuso and Joseph Tufo, and his entities Financial Tree, Financial Solution Group, and New Money Advisors—as well as Colorado-based John P. Glenn and his law firm—liable for solicitation fraud in connection with binary options and forex transactions, registration violations, and other charges.  CFTC

July 5, 2022

BNP Paribas has been ordered to pay a $6 million civil monetary penalty for its failure to correctly swap transactions as required by the Commodity Exchange Act and CFTC regulations.  According to the CFTC, BNPP failed to make more than 300,000 reports involving more than 6,000 swap transactions by U.S. persons incorrectly classified as non-U.S. persons.  Additionally, BNPP incorrectly reported thousands of bunched trades as new trades, and incorrectly reported approximately 3,000 commodity swaps as equity trades.  CFTC

June 30, 2022

Interactive Brokers LLC has been ordered to pay over $1 million in disgorgement and civil monetary penalty for its failure to supervise employees’ handling of exchange fees charged to customers.  By failing to ensure that its employees accurately assessed fees, Interactive Brokers overcharged its customers over $710,000.  CFTC

June 24, 2022

Starberry Limited will pay over $1.3 million in a civil monetary penalty for acting as an unregistered futures commission merchant and will disgorge the same amount in unlawfully-earned commission and fees. Starberry accepted more than $400 million from a foreign customer, invested it in crude oil futures contracts through more than 12,500 NYMEX WTI trades, and earned over $86 million in profits for the investor. CFTC
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