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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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CFTC Whistleblower Program Faces Challenges of its Success: What Whistleblowers Should Know

Posted  05/11/21
Screenshot of CFTC Whistleblower Program web page
In May, 2021, the Wall Street Journal reported (paywall) on “turmoil” in the CFTC Whistleblower Program. According to the article, the CFTC has under consideration a whistleblower award based on a claim by a whistleblower in the 2015 $2.5 billion Deutsche Bank LIBOR manipulation settlement.  Given the size of the Deutsche Bank settlement, the potential whistleblower award is substantial: the Journal reports that...

CFTC: Looking for a Few Good Whistleblowers

Posted  05/7/21
Commodity Futures Trading Commission Logo
When it comes to their respective whistleblower programs, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) does not get the same respect or attention the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) does.  That is largely because the SEC Whistleblower Program has been an unparalleled success, with whistleblower awards being made (and highly promoted) virtually every week or two.  Last year was a record-breaking year for...

April 27, 2021

The owner of BMC Worldwide, Inc., which did business as Blue Moon Coins, Aaron Michael Scott, has agreed to an order for restitution of $1.4 million to customers who sent him funds for the purpose of purchasing gold and silver based on his false representations that he and BMC were a successful precious metals firm with an inventory of precious metals.  In fact, the defendants had no such inventory, and misappropriated customer funds for their own purposes.  Scott previously pleaded guilty to wire fraud and was sentenced to four years in prison.  CFTC

April 9, 2021

The Alista Group, LLC, and Luis M. Pineda Palacios, a/k/a Luis Pineda, have been ordered to pay civil monetary penalties and restitution in an action initiated by the CFTC alleging that they engaged in precious metals fraud and illegal, off-exchange precious metals sales to retail customers.  In addition, the government alleged that defendants misappropriated customer funds to trade on their own account, pay business expenses, and make payments to customers to sought to cash out.  Alista was ordered to pay a total of $2.2 million, and Pineda was ordered to pay $448,000. CFTC

April 8, 2021

Circle Society, Corp. and its owner, David Gilbert Saffron, have been ordered to pay more than $32 million in restitution, disgorgement, and civil monetary penalty for cryptocurrency fraud and misappropriation.  First as an individual, and then through Circle Society, Saffron allegedly solicited millions in Bitcoin and U.S. dollars from at least 179 individuals by making false statements regarding his trading expertise and guaranteed rates of return.  However, rather than trading the fu­nds on foreign currencies and cryptocurrency pairs, Saffron directed­­ portions to his personal cryptocurrency wallet and used other portions to pay prior investors.  CFTC

April 8, 2021

A man in New Mexico has been ordered to pay over $10.3 million in monetary sanctions and relief after he admitted to running a Ponzi scheme that spanned nearly twenty years.  Instead of investing client funds in U.S. Treasury Bond futures, Douglas Lien misappropriated over $14.2 million from 45 clients, while charging them over $3.5 million in so-called management fees.  Lien has now been permanently banned from commodities trading and registering as a futures commission merchant.  CFTC

April 7, 2021

A default judgment was ordered against Negus Capital Inc. and its principal Aaron Butler, based on charges of commodity pool fraud in connection with binary options trading.  The order finds that defendants unlawfully solicited  the public to trade binary options contracts on the North American Derivatives Exchange, defrauded 70 customers who sent in nearly $300,000, misappropriated customer funds, and operated as an unregistered commodity pool operator. In addition to restitution, defendants were ordered to pay civil penalties of nearly $900,000.  CFTC

CFTC Clobbers Cryptocurrency Con Man

Posted  04/1/21
By Leah Judge
cryptocurrency scam
Last week, the CFTC announced that a federal court entered a nearly $600 million default judgment against a British man who used bitcoin to defraud more than 1,000 people worldwide.  The judgment is yet another indication that the CFTC will vigorously police cryptocurrency fraud.

The Scam

The CFTC filed a complaint against Benjamin Reynolds and his bitcoin trading and investment company, Control-Finance, back in...
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