Release: #4249-99
For Release: March 31, 1999


CFTC Order Accepting Settlement Finds that Hoffman Committed Fraud in Soliciting Customers to Purchase his Trading System by Guaranteeing Profits and that He Acted as an Unregistered CTA

WASHINGTON The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced today that it issued an order instituting proceedings and simultaneously accepted an offer of settlement from Peter D. Hoffman of Colorado Springs, Colorado. Hoffman has never been registered with the CFTC in any capacity.

The CFTC order finds that Hoffman violated sections 4b and 4o of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and CFTC regulation 4.41(a) by fraudulently soliciting clients to subscribe to a commodity trading advisory service called the Renaissance Trading Program. His print advertisements and written promotional material falsely represented that by using the Renaissance program, his clients could obtain spectacular trading results with no risk. The order further finds that, in soliciting and advising clients in connection with the Renaissance Trading Program, Hoffman acted as an unregistered commodity trading advisor (CTA) in violation of section 4m of the CEA and violated CFTC regulation 4.41(b) by failing to disclose that his advertised performance results were hypothetical.

In addition, the CFTC found that Hoffman fabricated trading profits for months in which he had not traded and presented false profits for months in which he incurred losses. Hoffman also claimed in his promotional material to have highly profitable results in his personal trading account, including a $13,000 profit on a $15,000 account in less than ten months, without disclosing that these results were hypothetical and that the trades had never been entered on any contract market.

Hoffman, without admitting or denying the CFTC findings, consented to the entry of the order that:

-- directs him to cease and desist from violating the provisions with which he was charged;

-- prohibits him from trading on contract markets for a period of five years; and

-- requires him to comply with his undertaking never to apply for registration with the CFTC in any capacity and never to engage in any activity requiring registration.

In its order, the CFTC notes that a civil monetary penalty against Hoffman would be appropriate in this case, however it does not impose one based upon Hoffman's sworn financial statements.