U.S. COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION (CFTC) REVOKES REGISTRATION OF ILLINOIS FLOOR BROKER STUART MICHAEL HELFFRICH
CFTC Action Based In Part on Fraud Findings By Chicago Board of Trade
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced today that on September 2, 2004, it filed an action against and simultaneously issued an administrative settlement order revoking the floor broker registration of Stuart Michael Helffrich of Chicago, Illinois.
The CFTC’s action was based, in part, on a disciplinary action taken against Helffrich by the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) on September 2, 2004. A CBOT exchange disciplinary committee found that Helffrich’s misconduct violated several CBOT rules prohibiting fraud, dishonorable or dishonest conduct, acts detrimental to the interest or welfare of the Exchange, and reckless and unbusinesslike dealing inconsistent with just and equitable principles of trade. The committee's determination was based on its February 12, 2004, charges that Helffrich, a floor broker for Gulf Trading Corporation (Gulf), misallocated customer trades during August and September 2003. According to the CBOT committee's charges, Helffrich moved commodity futures trades that were executed for two of his customers either into his own trading account or his error account, and moved commodity trades that were executed for his own personal account into two of his customers’ accounts. Also, according to the committee's charges, these unauthorized activities temporarily allowed Helffrich to avoid $860,000 in losses, although once discovered and reversed, Gulf paid the debit balance and customers were made whole.
In its decision today, the CBOT committee ordered that Helffrich be permanently barred from association with any CBOT member or member firm and ordered that he not reapply for membership at the Exchange. Helffrich, without admitting or denying the allegations against him, agreed to the revocation of his registration.
The CFTC’s action was also based on a 1991 decision by the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) that revoked Helffrich’s securities registration for his failure to pay a previously imposed fine and costs in connection with an NASD disciplinary action in which the NASD determined that Helffrich had wrongfully forged a customer’s signature on a disbursement check. Additionally, the CFTC’s action was based on Helffrich’s willful failure to disclose on his application for registration as a floor broker that his NASD registration had been revoked.
The CFTC order found that the foregoing facts constitute cause for a statutory disqualification of Helffrich under the Commodity Exchange Act.
The following CFTC Division of Enforcement staff were responsible for this case: Diane M. Romaniuk, Ava M. Gould, Mary Beth Spear, Rosemary Hollinger, and Scott Williamson.
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