For Release: March 27, 2008
Washington, DC – The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced today it obtained more than $3 million in restitution and civil monetary penalties in a CFTC foreign currency (forex) anti-fraud action against Aden Rusfeldt and Rusfeldt Investments LLP, both of Dickinson, Texas.
The consent order entered by Judge Gray H. Miller of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, requires the defendants to jointly and severally pay $1,906,502.30 in restitution and orders Rusfeldt and Rusfeldt Investments to pay civil monetary penalties of $327,523 and $982,569, respectively. The defendants are also permanently prohibited from engaging in any commodity-related activity, including commodity trading and soliciting customers to invest in commodity futures and options.
The order stems from a CFTC complaint filed on March 12, 2007, alleging fraud in connection with forex futures transactions (see CFTC Press Release 5312-07, April 2, 2007).
Specifically, the order finds that, beginning in at least October 2005, Rusfeldt and Rusfeldt Investments d/b/a Currency Trading Made Easy fraudulently solicited the retail public via the www.easytrading.biz website to purchase a forex trading training course and to speculate in forex futures trading through accounts managed by Rusfeldt.
Representations on their website included false representations that large profits were likely or virtually guaranteed, that risks were minimal or could be substantially eliminated, and that new customers could expect to benefit from Rusfeldt’s profitable past trading performance. For example, after describing $757 million in profits purportedly made by Bank of America on forex trading in 2004, the website claimed that Rusfeldt will “teach you how to ride the coat tails of the big banks and commercial lenders to pull daily profits from the market like clockwork.” In addition, some training offered to a “limited” number of clients was advertised as being like a “[m]oney tree planted in your yard that produces hundred dollar bills each day.”
With regard to Rusfeldt’s managed account trading, the website explicitly stated that Rusfeldt used the same trading strategies for his own account, stating: “I am extra conservative on my managed account … I average 5 to 10% per month.”
According to the order, these representations were false and misleading, as Rusfeldt traded in at least 272 customer accounts and none earned the type of returns described on the website. Rather, the vast majority of Rusfeldt’s trading resulted in losses and losses in Rusfeldt-managed accounts totaled at least $1,906,502.30 from July 2005 through June 2006.
Additionally, the order finds that, while the website represented that Rusfeldt was compensated only if his trading was profitable in client accounts, Rusfeldt and Rusfeldt Investments LLP, in fact, received commission rebates on all trades made in client accounts -- regardless of whether those trades were profitable.
The following Division of Enforcement staff members are responsible for this case: Christine Ryall, Patricia Gomersall, Paul Hayeck, and Joan Manley.
Last Updated: March 27, 2008