CFTC Release: 5075-05
LOS ANGELES AREA COMMODITY POOL OPERATOR JAMES WEATHERFORD, DOING BUSINESS AS MANAGED MINI.COM, SANCTIONED
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced today that the United States District Court for the Central District of California entered a consent order settling the CFTC’s action against James Weatherford, who operated the internet website www.managed-mini.com. The consent order, entered on April 26, 2005, bars Weatherford from fraudulently soliciting customers to trade commodity futures and from operating a commodity pool without being registered with the CFTC as required.
Specifically, the order, which stems from a complaint filed by the CFTC on June 8, 2004 (CFTC News Release 4939-04, June 14, 2004), finds that Weatherford, through his website, conducted a business out of Los Angeles for the purpose of soliciting customers to invest in a commodity pool that would trade the S&P 500 e-mini futures contract. The order reflects that Weatherford acted as a commodity pool operator without being registered as required with the CFTC.
According to the order, Weatherford falsely represented that the pool funds would be trading with Vankar Trading, a commodity trading advisor registered with the CFTC, and that funds invested through the website would utilize the Trendcatcher trading system developed by XTradeUS. The order finds that neither Vankar Trading nor XTradeUS had any relationship with Weatherford. In addition, the order finds that Weatherford misrepresented the profit potential of the investment and failed to disclose the risks.
The order permanently enjoins Weatherford from engaging in fraud, and acting as a commodity pool operator without registration, in violation of the Commodity Exchange Act. The order also bars Weatherford, for a period of two years, from trading commodity futures and options for himself or others, and from seeking registration with the Commission in any capacity, and also imposes a civil monetary penalty.
The order finds that Weatherford paid back pool participants all the funds he solicited from them. In consenting to the order, Weatherford neither admitted nor denied the findings in the order.
The following Commission staff members were responsible for this case: James H. Holl, III, Erin E. Vespe, Gretchen L. Lowe, and Vincent McGonagle.
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