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Regulatory Violations

This archive displays posts tagged as relevant to violations of rules and regulations government the financial markets and its participants. You may also be interested in the following pages:

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February 23, 2022

The CFTC settled charges against Richard D. Neal and his company Golden Signals, LLC for failing to register as a commodity trading advisor and commodity pool operator. Neal and Golden Signals, LLC will pay over $2.6 million in restitution, disgorgement, and a civil monetary penalty for the fraud perpetrated over a 5-year period beginning in October 2016. They engaged in binary options solicitation and trading fraud via webpages and social media channels, touting “the highest profit percentage ratings in the world.” Additionally, customers lost over $1.2 million through Neal and Golden Signals’ fraudulent solicitations for binary options signal, trainings, and strategy course offerings. CFTC

February 14, 2022

BlockFi, Inc. will pay a total of $100 million to resolve SEC and state claims arising from its sale to retail customers of cryptocurrency lending products, including its BlockFi Interest Accounts.  Through the “BIAs,” investors lent cryptocurrency assets to BlockFi in exchange for the company’s promise to provide a variable monthly interest payment.  The SEC alleged that the BIAs were securities, offered without registration, that BlockFi operated as an unregistered investment company, and made false and misleading statements about risk levels. The total settlement includes a $50 million SEC civil penalty and $50 million to be divided equally between U.S. jurisdictions that are members of North American Securities Administrators Association.   SEC; NASAA

January 19, 2022

William S. Evans III, who did business as Turning Point Investments, together with his wife Francis Evans, have consented to entry of judgment against them requirement the payment of $17 million as restitution as the disgorgement of $10 million.  Evans operated as an unregistered commodity pool operator, and marketed to customers with the promise that he would trade commodity futures on their behalf, making false statements about risks, the likelihood of profits, and his fees.  In fact, Evans misappropriated customer funds for his personal use and to pay other participants in a Ponzi-like scheme.  CFTC

Top Ten SEC and CFTC Recoveries of 2021

Posted  01/7/22
Top Ten Sign with Letters
As we recently detailed, 2021 proved to be a blockbuster year for whistleblowers under the CFTC and SEC Whistleblower ProgramsSeven of the ten largest whistleblower awards of 2021 were made to SEC and CFTC whistleblowers, including a massive $200 million CFTC award that was roughly twice as large as all prior CFTC awards combined.  In total, the SEC paid more awards—both in total dollars and individual...

January 3, 2022

Previous metals dealer Lear Capital, Inc., and its founder, Kevin DeMeritt, have agreed to pay $5 million to settle a lawsuit by the New York Attorney General that alleged the company fraudulently charged investors up to 33% in undisclosed commissions, in violation of state laws requiring commodity broker-dealers and telemarketers to register with the state.  As part of the settlement, Lear has agreed to begin providing clear and conspicuous disclosures of the fees, enhance its complaint tracking procedures, and provide better training to its personnel.  NY AG

January 3, 2022

Blockratize, Inc., d/b/a Polymarket has been ordered to pay a $1.4 million civil monetary penalty to resolve charges of violating the Commodity Exchange Act and CFTC regulations.  According to the CFTC, Polymarket illegally offered over 900 separate off-exchange event-based binary options contracts, and failed to obtain designation as a designated contract market (DCM), or register as a swap execution facility (SEF).  CFTC

December 17, 2021

J.P. Morgan Chase entities, including broker-dealer J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, will pay a total of $200 million -- $125 million as an SEC penalty and $75 million as a CFTC penalty -- to resolve claims that firm employees communicated both internally and externally on unapproved channels, failed to preserve written communications, and failed to supervise.  Defendants admitted that employees, including senior and supervisory employees, regularly and openly communicated about business using personal devices, text messages, WhatsApp, and other private messaging, none of which were preserved by the firm, in violation of recordkeeping requirements.  As a result, J.P. Morgan entities were unable to provide information in response to subpoenas and information requests from regulators.  SEC; CFTC

December 15, 2021

Broker-dealer Wedbush Securities Inc. has agreed to pay $1.2 million to resolve allegations related to the unregistered sale of large blocks of 50 different low-priced microcap companies by Silverton SA, a former offshore customer.  The SEC also found that Wedbush failed to file SARs for certain suspicious transactions that it executed for Silverton, despite the presence of numerous red flags.  SEC

November 29, 2021

Denari Capital LLC and its principals Travis Capson and Arnab Sarkar have been ordered to pay a total of $4 million in penalties and restitution based on findings that they engaged in foreign exchange (forex) pool fraud and failed to register with the CFTC as a commodity pool operator and associated persons.  Defendants misrepresented Denari’s trading and performance in fraudulent solicitations, issued false account statements, and improperly commingled pool funds.  CFTC

October 15, 2021

iFinex Inc. and related entities doing business as cryptocurrency trading platform Bitfinex, agreed to pay $1.5 million to resolve charges that they operated as an unregistered futures commission merchant (FCM) and engaged in illegal, off-exchange retail commodity transactions in digital assets with U.S. persons that were not eligible contract participants (ECPs).  The CFTC found that Bitfinex allowed margin trading financed through a peer-to-peer funding program through which Bitfinex customers who held fiat or cryptocurrency in their Bitfinex account would “lend” those funds to other Bitfinex customers who would then use those funds to buy, sell, and trade on the Bitfinex platform, in violation of a 2016 CFTC orderCFTC
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