December 5, 2014
Washington, DC – The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced that Judge William J. Zloch of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida entered an Order of default judgment against Defendants Gold Distributors, Inc. (GDI) of Hallandale Beach, Florida, and its sole owner Jordan Cain of Miami, Florida. The Order requires the Defendants to pay restitution in the amount of $337,266 and a civil monetary penalty of $1,011,800. The Order also imposes permanent trading, solicitation, and registration bans against the Defendants and prohibits them from violating provisions of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA), as charged.
The Order, entered on November 24, 2014, stems from a CFTC Complaint filed on March 19, 2014, that charged the Defendants with engaging in illegal, off-exchange transactions in precious metals with retail customers on a leveraged, margined, or financed basis (see CFTC Press Release 6884-14).
Specifically, the Order finds that between January 2012 and February 2013, the Defendants offered to enter into, executed, and confirmed the execution of financed gold and silver transactions with persons who were not eligible contract participants as defined by the CEA. The Order further finds that the Defendants introduced 27 customers to AmeriFirst Management, LLC (AmeriFirst), a precious metals wholesaler and clearing firm that financed and purported to confirm the execution of customer precious metals transactions. The Defendants transferred at least $797,577 to AmeriFirst for the purchase of precious metals and received commissions and fees totaling at least $337,266 for the retail financed precious metals transactions executed through AmeriFirst, according to the Order. The Order also finds that Cain was liable, as GDI’s controlling person, for GDI’s violations of the CEA.
Under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, financed transactions such as those conducted by GDI, are illegal off-exchange transactions unless they result in actual delivery of metal within 28 days. According to the Order, the Defendants and AmeriFirst never actually delivered any precious metals to any of the Defendants’ customers.
The CFTC cautions victims that restitution orders may not result in the recovery of money lost because the wrongdoers may not have sufficient funds or assets. The CFTC will continue to fight vigorously for the protection of customers and to ensure the wrongdoers are held accountable.
On July 29, 2013, the CFTC, in a separate action in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, charged AmeriFirst and its principals with fraud and other violations of the CEA. On September 18, 2013, the court found AmeriFirst and its principals liable for illegal, off-exchange precious metals transactions and fraud, and on, July 24, 2014, the court imposed sanctions of over $35 million against AmeriFirst and its principals (see CFTC Press Releases 6655-13 and 6973-14).
CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members responsible for this action are Christopher Giglio, R. Stephen Painter, Jr., Lenel Hickson, Jr., and Manal M. Sultan.
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CFTC’s Precious Metals Customer Fraud Advisory
The CFTC has issued several customer protection Fraud Advisories that provide the warning signs of fraud, including the Precious Metals Fraud Advisory, which alerts customers to precious metals fraud and lists simple ways to spot precious metals scams.
Customers can report suspicious activities or information, such as possible violations of commodity trading laws, to the CFTC Division of Enforcement via a Toll-Free Hotline 866-FON-CFTC (866-366-2382) or file a tip or complaint online.
Last Updated: December 5, 2014