Release Number 7012-14

September 25, 2014

CFTC Orders Florida Resident Louis J. Ferone to Pay Restitution and a Civil Monetary Penalty Totaling More than $155,000 for Engaging in Illegal, Off-Exchange Precious Metals Transactions

Washington, DC – The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today entered an Order requiring Louis J. Ferone, of Miami, Florida to pay restitution of $55,442 to customers and a $100,000 civil monetary penalty, for engaging in 17 illegal, off-exchange precious metals transactions. Ferone has never been registered with the CFTC.

According to the CFTC’s Order, Ferone was the owner and operator Bentley Metals LLC (Bentley Metals), which was a Delaware company with its principal place of business in Hoboken, New Jersey. Bentley Metals ceased operations in or around September 2012. According to the Order, since at least July 16, 2011 and continuing through at least September 2012 (Relevant Period), Bentley Metals, via telemarketing and an internet web page, solicited retail customers to execute financed off-exchange precious metals transactions. The Order finds that, during the Relevant Period, Bentley Metals received commissions and fees totaling $55,442 in connection with 17 illegal off-exchange, leveraged metals transactions. In soliciting and accepting retail customer orders and funds, Bentley Metals acted as a Futures Commission Merchant (FCM) without registering with the CFTC as such, according to the Order.

The Order finds that Ferone solely owned Bentley Metals and controlled its day-to-day operations. For example, Ferone had exclusive control over the Bentley Metals bank accounts and hired, supervised, and paid the Bentley Metals employees, including the telemarketers, the Order finds.

The CFTC cautions victims that restitution orders may not result in the recovery of money lost because the wrongdoers may not have sufficient funds or assets. The CFTC will continue to fight vigorously for the protection of customers and to ensure that the wrongdoers are held accountable.

CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members responsible for this case are Patrick Daly, Michael C. McLaughlin, Patryk J. Chudy, David W. MacGregor, Lenel Hickson, Jr., and Manal M. Sultan.

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CFTC’s Precious Metals Customer Fraud Advisory

The CFTC has issued several customer protection Fraud Advisories that provide the warning signs of fraud, including the Precious Metals Fraud Advisory, which alerts customers to precious metals fraud and lists simple ways to spot precious metals scams.

Customers can report suspicious activities or information, such as possible violations of commodity trading laws, to the CFTC Division of Enforcement via a Toll-Free Hotline 866-FON-CFTC (866-366-2382) or file a tip or complaint online. 

Media Contact
Dennis Holden

Last Updated: September 25, 2014