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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.

January 7, 2016

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 18, 2015

J.P. Morgan Chase Bank agreed to pay $100 million -- $40 million as a penalty and $60 million in disgorgement -- to settle allegations that it failed to disclose its preferences for investing client funds in certain investment vehicles.  CFTC

December 10, 2015

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, 2015

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, 2015

- 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, 2015

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, 2015

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 30, 2015

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, 2015

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, 2015

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
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