For Release: August 7, 2003
FEDERAL COURT ORDERS INTERNET PROMOTER GEORGE HEFFERNAN TO PAY $400,000 FOR FRAUDULENTLY SOLICITING CUSTOMERS TO PURCHASE COMMODITY ADVISORY SERVICES
Court Also Orders Heffernan to Disclose That He Violated the Law When Publishing Any Commodities-Related Material
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced today that a Georgia federal district court entered an order of permanent injunction and final judgment in the CFTC’s favor requiring George Heffernan, a commodity trading advisor, to pay a civil penalty of $125,000 and disgorge ill-gotten gains of $275,000 as a result of his fraudulent solicitation of the general public to purchase a commodity trading system, and violation of a prior CFTC order (order). Heffernan, who has never been registered with the CFTC in any capacity, is formerly a resident of Evans, Georgia, and is currently a resident of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
The court’s order and final judgment, entered on August 4, 2003, stem from a complaint filed by the CFTC against Heffernan in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia on September 11, 2001 (see CFTC News Release 4568-01, September 17, 2001). Earlier, the court granted the CFTC’s motion for summary judgment on all counts alleged in the complaint.
The court found that Heffernan fraudulently solicited customers for his Accutrader and Logitech trading systems and violated a September 2000 Commission order by:
The court also issued sanctions that require Heffernan to make his violations of law public whenever he publishes any commodity- or securities-related “readable material,” by obliging him to make the following statement:
“I have violated the Commodity Exchange Act, CFTC Regulations, and a CFTC order. After being sued by the CFTC in federal court, I have been ordered to disgorge $275,000 in ill-gotten gains and pay $125,000 in civil monetary penalties for my illegal conduct. The order in my case was issued by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia and can be found in volume 245 of the federal supplement beginning on page 1,276. My case number was CV 101-141.”
The following CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members were responsible for this case: Ted Dowd, Patricia Gomersall, Michael Solinsky, Erin Powell, Paul Hayeck, and Susan Bovee.
Susan Bovee (202-418-5409)
Chief, Policy and Review
Division of Enforcement
Commodity Futures Trading Commission
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