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Fraud in CFTC-Regulated Markets

This archive displays posts tagged as relevant to fraud in markets regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the CFTC, or governed by the Commodity Exchange Act, the CEA. You may also be interested in the following pages:

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Swiss-Based Commodities Trading Company Pays $661 Million for FCPA Violations

Posted  03/4/24
Type Writer Typed Out the Word "Corruption"
Last Friday (March 1), the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that Swiss-based international commodities trading company Gunvor S.A. pleaded guilty and agreed to pay roughly $661 million to settle charges of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).  The DOJ's action stemmed from Gunvor's scheme to bribe Ecuadorean officials to secure business with Ecuador’s state-owned oil company Petroecuador. The...

CFTC Anoints New Whistleblower Chief

Posted  02/16/24
Commodity Futures Trading Commission Logo
Yesterday (February 15), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) named Brian Young as the new director of the CFTC’s Whistleblower Office.  In doing so, the agency officially filled the vacancy left when former director Chris Ehrman stepped down in July. Mr. Young has big shoes to fill as under Director Ehrman's tenure, the CFTC saw tremendous growth in its Whistleblower Program, which provides sizable...

CFTC Says Beware of Romance Scams

Posted  02/13/24
Three Red Heart Balloons Floating
With Valentine's Day upon us, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) last week (February 8) issued an Advisory Alert warning for those seeking romance to tread carefully on dating apps and social media.  Especially when it comes to strangers asking for financial support or giving investment advice. The CFTC urged particular caution with promotions for cryptocurrency investments because of the growing risk...

Top Ten SEC and CFTC Recoveries of 2023

Posted  01/24/24
Foreign Exchange Graph
It was an active year for fraud enforcement at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).  Though by no means was it a record year for either regulator in terms of big-ticket wins.  Aside from the CFTC's $1.7 billion recovery from South African crypto company Mirror Trading for foul play with foreign currency transactions, the balance of the Top-10 recoveries was...

Top Ten SEC and CFTC Whistleblower Awards for 2023

Posted  01/16/24
Anonamous Person on Phone Pointing to Book with Charts and Numbers
It was a relatively quiet year for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in their payout of whistleblower awards under their respective whistleblower programs.  Under the SEC Program and CFTC Program -- both enacted under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act -- whistleblowers who provide information that leads to a successful government...

December 20, 2023

Avinash Singh and Highrise Advantage, LLC will pay over $100 million in restitution and civil penalties and are permanently banned from registering with the CFTC and from trading on any registered entity. Despite bringing in almost $58 million from investors and feeder funds, Singh and Highrise used less than $2.5 million on forex trades and used over $25 million on personal expenses and to make payments on their Ponzi-like scheme. CFTC

Catch of the Week: Freepoint Commodities

Posted  12/18/23
Government contract fraud whistleblower
This week's Department of Justice (DOJ) Catch of the Week goes to Freepoint Commodities.  Last Thursday (December 14), the Connecticut-based commodities trading company agreed to pay roughly $98 million to settle government charges it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by paying bribes to Brazilian government officials.  The company also agreed to disgorge roughly $7.6 million to the Commodity Futures...

December 14, 2023

Freepoint Commodities LLC will pay more than $98 million in civil penalties and disgorgement for improperly obtaining and trading on material non-public information. Freepoint paid millions in bribes to government officials in Brazil to obtain highly confidential information related to the purchase and sale of fuel oil. Certain members of Freepoint's oil trading team knew of and took steps to conceal the fraud by using code words, fake names, and private email addresses, all to gain unlawful competitive advantages in oil products trading. DOJ; CFTC

November 15, 2023

Phillip Gales and the entities he controlled—Tyche Asset Management LLC, Tyche Master Fund Ltd, Tyche Asset Trade LLC, Tyche Offshore Fund Ltd., Tyche Onshore Fund LP, Tyche PML Master Fund Ltd., Tyche PML Onshore Fund LP, Tyche Onshore Fund GP LLC, and Tyche Asset Trade LLC—will pay over $5.3 million in restitution and a nearly $16 million penalty for violating CFTC regulations governing commodity pools and for making false and misleading statements to the National Futures Association. Gales convinced investors he was a hedge fund magnate and claimed his Tyche entities achieved returns of over 200%, which he attributed to sophisticated technology and trading strategies. The majority of investors' funds, however, were not used to place trades but rather to fund Galles' lavish lifestyle and carry out his Ponzi scheme. CFTC

October 23, 2023

Ceres Global Ag Corp. has been ordered to pay $3 million to settle charges of attempting to manipulate the price of oats futures contracts in 2016 and 2017.  According to the CFTC, a former senior official directed employees to manipulate its short position in order to affect the futures price.  CFTC
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