For Release:April 18, 1996
CFTC FILES ENFORCEMENT ACTION CHARGING DAVID AND MARK SITZMANN AND SITZMANN COMMODITIES INC. WITH FRAUDULENT TRADING PRACTICES IN THE CME'S LIVE CATTLE AND HOG FUTURES CONTRACTS
WASHINGTON -- The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced the filing of a five-count administrative complaint against Mark J. Sitzmann of Greeley Colorado; his brother, David E. Sitzmann of LeMars, Iowa; and Sitzmann Commodities Inc., an introducing broker in LeMars, Iowa, alleging, among other things, fraudulent trading practices in the Chicago Mercantile Exchange's live cattle and live hog futures contracts.
From September 1988 to July 1995, Mark Sitzmann was employed with Monfort Inc. as vice-president of commodity management, in which capacity he controlled Monfort's commodity futures trading. Monfort Inc., a subsidiary of ConAgra Inc., is a meat processor located in Greeley, Colorado. Mark Sitzmann, during his employment with Monfort, was not registered with the CFTC in any capacity. David Sitzmann was registered with the CFTC as an introducing broker under the corporate name Sitzmann Commodities, Inc.
The complaint alleges that from September 1, 1991 to March 30, 1993, Mark Sitzmann -- aided and abetted by David Sitzmann -- cheated, defrauded, and deceived Monfort by trading his personal commodity account ahead of the Monfort accounts he controlled. According to the complaint, Mark Sitzmann would call Sitzmann Commodities and place an order for his personal account before placing larger orders on the same side of the market on behalf of Monfort. It is further alleged that after Monfort's orders had been at least partially filled, Mark allegedly would place an offsetting order with Sitzmann Commodities. During the time period covered by the complaint, Mark Sitzmann received $317,000 of the profits generated in his personal account at Sitzmann Commodities, the complaint alleges.
In addition, the complaint charges that David Sitzmann aided and abetted Mark by, among other things:
allowing Mark to open a commodity trading account at Sitzmann Commodities in David Sitzmann's name;
by calling Mark's orders to the floor of the exchange; and
by transferring all of the funds to and from the commodity trading account in David's name to Mark Sitzmann through a bank account owned by David Sitzmann.
The complaint further alleges that Sitzmann Commodities failed to maintain accurate records related to the account that was owned by David Sitzmann, but which was actually owned and controlled by Mark Sitzmann. Finally, the complaint alleges that Mark Sitzmann failed to file a CFTC Form 40 large-trader report, and that David Sitzmann filed a false Form 40 related to the account that was actually owned by Mark.
A public hearing is to be held to determine whether the allegations are true and, if so, what sanctions should be imposed against the respondents. Possible sanctions include: suspension or revocation of David Sitzmann's registration, cease and desist orders, trading prohibitions, civil penalties of up to $100,000 or triple the monetary gain against each respondent for each violation, and restitution.
# # #