For Release: July 20, 2009
Washington, DC - The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced today that it obtained $280,000 in civil monetary penalties and equitable relief in consent orders of permanent injunction against Randy Burstein, of Miami Beach, Florida, and Nader Yazdani, of Boca Raton, Florida, both former employees of Liberty Financial Trading Corp., Inc. and Liberty Real Assets Investment Corporation (collectively Liberty). The sanctions resolve a CFTC enforcement action that charged them with fraudulently soliciting customers to trade commodity options (see CFTC Press Release 5032-04, December 27, 2004).
The order against Burstein requires him to pay $120,000 in restitution to defrauded customers and a $120,000 civil monetary penalty. The order against Yazdani requires him to pay $10,000 in restitution and a $30,000 civil monetary penalty. The orders also impose permanent trading and registration bans against both Burstein and Yazdani.
The consent orders were issued on July 15, 2009, by the Honorable K. Michael Moore of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. The orders find that Burstein and Yazdani, while employed at Liberty, made false and misleading sales solicitations. For example, the orders find that they misrepresented the likelihood of profits from trading commodity options and failed to disclose the risk of loss inherent in trading commodity options, while heralding the profit opportunities. In addition, the court found that they failed to disclose Liberty’s dismal performance record trading commodity options for customer accounts and misrepresented the actual performance record of customers’ accounts.
Earlier, the court issued consent orders against Liberty, Ted Romeo, and Leslie Weiner (Yazdani’s and Burstein’s co-defendants), finding that they fraudulently solicited customers. These orders imposed restitution, civil monetary penalties, and trading and registration bans (see CFTC Press Releases 5333-07, May 7, 2007, and 5433-08, January 9, 2008).
The following CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members are responsible for this case: Alan Edelman, James Holl III, Lacey Dingman, Kara Mucha, Gretchen Lowe, and Vincent A. McGonagle.
R. David Gary
Last Updated: July 20, 2009