U.S. COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION CHARGES FLORIDA MAN AND HIS COMPANY WITH VIOLATIONS BASED ON OFFER AND SALE OF FOREIGN CURRENCY OPTIONS
William David Seigler, Jr. and Sonoma Trading Corporation Allegedly Solicited Customers to Trade Foreign Currency (Forex) Options Contracts Via the Internet
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced today the filing of a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida charging that Sonoma Trading Corporation (Sonoma) and its owner, William David Seigler, Jr., of Largo, Florida, wrongfully solicited and sold foreign currency (forex) options. Also on March 9, 2005, the same day the complaint was filed, U.S. District Judge Marcia A. Cooke issued an order freezing the defendants’ assets and preventing the destruction of their books and records.
The CFTC complaint alleges that since December 2002, Sonoma and Seigler, through a website operated in the name of Sonoma, solicited retail customers to trade foreign currency options contracts, touting Sonoma as “The Premier Foreign Exchange Options Dealer in the Americas.”
As further alleged, in connection with these solicitations, the defendants instructed customers to wire transfer funds to a U.S.-based bank for routing to a Sonoma bank account located in San Jose, Costa Rica.
To conduct these activities lawfully, the complaint charges that Sonoma and Siegler either were required to execute the options transactions on a contract market or a foreign board, or were required to register with the CFTC as a futures commission merchant. The complaint alleges that they did neither.
The CFTC complaint seeks an order of permanent injunction prohibiting defendants from violating the Commodity Exchange Act, from engaging in any activity related to commodity options, and ordering the disgorgement of the defendants’ ill-gotten gains, restitution of funds to customers, and civil monetary penalties.
The following CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members are responsible for this case: David Reed, Trabue Bland, Robert Hildum, Tim Mulreany, Paul Hayeck, and Joan Manley.
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