For Release: April 14, 2003
CHICAGO MAN ORDERED TO PAY PENALTY FOR FRAUDULENTLY PROMOTING A COMMODITY TRADING SYSTEM
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced that Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) George H. Painter entered an initial decision requiring Gregory W. Elliott of Chicago, Illinois, to cease violating the Commodity Exchange Act and the CFTC’s regulations, and to pay a civil monetary penalty of $25,000.
The initial decision, entered on March 28, 2003, stems from a two-count administrative complaint filed by the CFTC on January 21, 2003 against Elliott, individually and doing business as SofTrade, Inc. and Softradeinc.com (see CFTC News Release 4738-03, January 21, 2003).
The CFTC’s complaint alleged, and the ALJ found, that from approximately March 2001 to September 2002, Elliott promoted and marketed to the public a commodity futures trading system called the QuantumLevel S&P E-mini S&P DayTrading System through advertisements on the Softradeinc.com website that Elliott created and maintained. The ALJ found that Elliott included statements on the website fraudulently misrepresenting that the performance results of the commodity futures trading system were based on actual trades, when in fact they were based on simulated or hypothetical trades.
The ALJ also found that Elliott made false and misleading statements on the Softradeinc.com website and in e-mail messages that he sent to financial chat rooms and Internet newsgroups that overstated the profit potential of his trading system. Finally, the ALJ found that Elliott presented the performance record of simulated or hypothetical trading without an appropriate statement of disclaimer, warning of the limitations of simulated or hypothetical performance results.
The court’s initial decision will become a Final Order of the Commission unless either party to the proceeding files a notice of appeal within 30 days of March 28, 2003.
The following Division of Enforcement staff were responsible for the case: Lisa Rosenthal, Grant Collins, Paul Hayeck, and John Dunfee.
Media Enforcement Contact:
Paul Hayeck, Associate Director
Headquarters Office, CFTC Division of Enforcement
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