December 19, 2012
Washington, DC – The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced that it obtained a federal court order requiring defendant Alexander Giap of Falls Church, Va., to pay $456,743 in restitution to defrauded customers and a $250,000 civil monetary penalty for violating the anti-fraud provisions of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) (see CFTC Press Release 6191-12, February 27, 2012, as a Related Link). The consent order of permanent injunction, entered on December 17, 2012, by the Honorable Claude M. Hilton of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, also imposes permanent trading and registration bans against Giap and prohibits him from violating the CEA, as charged.
The order finds that Giap engaged in two schemes in which he acted as an unregistered Commodity Trading Advisor (CTA). In the first scheme, which took place in 2009, Giap solicited customers to participate in iTRADE, a purported “school” that Giap used to conduct his CTA business, according to the order. iTRADE “students” provided Giap with “tuition” ranging from $4,000 to $20,000 and traded under Giap’s direction, the order finds. Giap and iTRADE offered a money back guarantee under which the iTRADE students would retain all profits from trading until they had recovered their initial deposit, the order finds. However, Giap’s trading resulted in substantial losses, losing money seven out of the nine months from January 2009 through September 2009, according to the order.
Furthermore, the order finds that Giap made a number of material misrepresentations and failed to disclose material facts when he solicited customers to engage his services, including that he was a convicted felon who still owed restitution relating to his criminal conviction and was subject to Internal Revenue Service liens for delinquent taxes. Giap also failed to disclose the full extent of his history of losses incurred trading commodity futures, that he was not registered with the CFTC as a CTA, and that he had never traded commodity futures prior to January 2009, according to the order.
In Giap’s second commodity futures trading scheme, which began in October 2009, he defrauded three additional customers through the same material omissions as his first scheme, and his trading resulted in substantial financial losses to customers, according to the order.
The CFTC thanks the Virginia Corporation Commission for its assistance.
CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members responsible for this matter are Allison Baker Shealy, Jason Mahoney, Timothy J. Mulreany, George Malas, Rainey Perez, John Einstman, Paul G. Hayeck, and Joan Manley.
Last Updated: December 19, 2012