UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION
In the Matter of
CFTC Docket No. 98-16
INTERNATIONAL FUTURES CORP.
and LIT DIVISION OF FIRST OPTIONS
OF CHICAGO, INC.
On January 27, 2000, the Commission issued an order resolving the complaint in this matter against respondent LIT Division of First Options of Chicago, Inc. ("First Options"). This order was the product of settlement discussions between First Options and the Commission's Division of Enforcement ("Division"). A portion of the order required First Options to pay restitution to a specified group of customers through an account designated by the National Futures Association ("NFA"). NFA undertook obligations to (1) distribute the deposited funds to customers it could locate (2) remit any remaining funds to the Commission as an additional civil money penalty, and (3) provide an accounting to First Options. The order required NFA to fulfill these obligations by specified deadlines.
On May 8, 2000, the Division and First Options submitted a joint motion to extend the applicable deadlines. The motion indicated that there were unforeseen delays in locating some of the affected customers and argued that extension of the deadlines would facilitate the payment of restitution to more customers. On this basis, the parties requested that the Commission amend its January 27, 2000 order to allow NFA until (1) June 30, 2000 to effect restitution payments to the remaining customers; (2) July 10, 2000 to remit unpaid funds to the Commission; and (3) July 31, 2000 to provide an accounting to First Options.
The Commission's Rules of Practice specifically address requests for relief from final decisions only in the context of default. See Commission Rule 10.94. Nevertheless, the Commission has considered such requests for relief in the context of settled claims and held that relief is limited to those "exceptional circumstances" where the moving party shows that it is no longer equitable that the requirements of the challenged decision have prospective application. In re Eggum, [1996-1998 Transfer Binder] Comm. Fut. L. Rep. (CCH) ¶ 27,359 at 46,660-61 (CFTC July 9, 1998), reconsidered as to result, [1998-1999 Transfer Binder] Comm. Fut. L. Rep. (CCH) ¶ 27,497 (CFTC Dec. 21, 1998).
Both the Division and First Options agree that the delay in locating affected customers was unforeseen when they developed and agreed to the deadlines applicable to NFA's obligations. The overall goal of the parties' motion - increasing the likelihood that funds paid by First Options will be used to repay customer losses - is consistent with both the public interest and the policies underlying the January 27, 2000 order. Moreover, there is no indication that the brief delay in the final resolution of this matter occasioned by the contemplated adjustment to the deadlines will result in any harm to the public interest.
In light of these factors, we find that continuing to apply the deadlines imposed in our January 27, 2000 order is no longer equitable. The applicable deadlines are amended in accordance with the terms proposed by the parties. This amendment shall be effective on the date this order is served.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
By the Commission (Chairman RAINER, and Commissioners HOLUM, SPEARS, NEWSOME, and ERICKSON.
Jean A. Webb
Secretary of the Commission
Commodity Futures Trading Commission
Dated: May 30, 2000