Release Number 5749-09

Release: 5749-09
For Release: November 12, 2009

New York Resident Michael Kourmolis Permanently Banned From Futures Industry For Fraudulent Solicitation In CFTC Anti-Fraud Action

Washington, DC - The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced that it obtained a consent order against Michael Kourmolis, of Brooklyn, N.Y., permanently prohibiting him from engaging in any activity related to trading any commodity interests, including soliciting funds, registering with the CFTC and trading on behalf of others or himself.

The court’s order, entered on November 10, 2009, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, stems from a CFTC complaint filed July 23, 2003, against defendants Kourmolis, Thomas Qualls, and International Foreign Currency, Inc. (IFC) (see CFTC Press Release 4825-03, July 30, 2003). The CFTC’s litigation continues against IFC and Qualls.

The CFTC complaint alleged, and the court’s order finds, that Kourmolis fraudulently solicited customers to open accounts at IFC to trade foreign currency futures contracts. The order finds that in his solicitations, Kourmolis falsely told at least one customer that because of IFC’s “large fund and our banks and institutions overseas,” IFC had the ability to “maximize profit potential while also minimizing capital risk.” Kourmolis also misleadingly represented in writing that customers would have personal accounts and that their funds were insured by a bank for up to $25 million.

In a related matter, in January, 2007, a grand jury in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York indicted Qualls on several counts of wire and mail fraud and obstruction of justice. The obstruction of justice counts alleged in part that Qualls concealed documents with an intent to impair the CFTC’s action and made false statements in a CFTC deposition. On November 5, 2008, a jury convicted Qualls (US v. Thomas Qualls, Criminal Docket No. 07-014 (E.D.N.Y.). Prior to the verdict, Qualls fled and was later arrested in Canada.

The following CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members are responsible for this case: James H. Holl, III, Katherine Scovin Driscoll, Gretchen L. Lowe and Vincent McGonagle.

Media Contacts
Scott Schneider

Dennis Holden

Last Updated: November 12, 2009