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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.

February 4, 2015

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, 2015

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, 2015

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 26, 2015

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, 2015

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, 2015

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, 2015

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, 2015

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, 2015

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 30, 2014

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
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